Just how committed is Nick Diehl to producing the region’s best maple syrup?
“He absolutely loves mapling. We call him the Maple Man, and refer to his obsession as Maple Madness,” said his wife of 16 years, Lois. “It’s all in good fun.”
Over the past couple years, the rural Turbotville family has been fine-tuning its collection and processing of maple sap into one of nature’s purest of sweeteners.
“This whole process is so satisfying. You start with a tree that God designed with an unreproduceable sugar — man has tried to replicate it and failed,” Nick said. “To be able to tap into that natural resource and end up with something with so many uses that my family can sell is both cool — and tasty.”
Last year, between Feb. 2 and March 8, the young family of five tapped 230 maple trees, harvested 2,000 gallons of sap and ultimately produced 52 gallons of syrup that was made available at their farm — Maple Haven — and through a few local vendors.
“Those 52 gallons sold pretty quickly,” Nick said. “We didn’t get a lot of extra syrup to experiment with.”
So the Diehls are in the process of expanding this year, tapping around 600 maple trees on a couple different properties and incorporating a new reverse osmosis system to reduce the time it takes to boil down the sap.
“Everyone (in the family) is involved in the process, from helping run the lines to boiling down the sap, bottling the syrup and even marketing our product,” Nick said. “When boiling down the sap, there is good opportunity for conversation. There are a lot of parts that work together for this to be successful, and our kids no only get to see the business structure — they get to live it.”
Check out the full story about the Diehls, their mapling venture and even some tips to creating your own maple syrup in our newest issue of Inside Pennsylvania magazine, available for purchase by emailing here for more information.
You can find the Diehls on Facebook by searching “Maple Haven Farm” or email the family by clicking here. Their product is available at the GreatValu store and Clark’s Ag Center in Turbotville, Burkholder’s Market in Washingtonville and at a few locations in Watsontown.