Dark Wing Enterprises is a Maple Sugar Farm owned and operated by Ronnie Leroux and family. The property was obtained in 2014 and has undergone recent renovations. The property has 8,500+ taps and is planning on expanding both the home bush and by buying sap from other properties.
The home bush, maple trees tapped on the property, collects sap during early spring using food grade pipe lines under vacuum pressure. All sap collected runs downhill away from the main Sugar House to the pump house, where it collects in a holding tank until there is enough sap to pump up to the main Sugar House.
Once the sap reaches the main Sugar House it is pumped into a large holding tank. When the holding tank is full, the Maple Sugar process begins. Sap is then pumped through the RO, Reverse Osmosis, a machine that begins the process of separating sugar from water. The RO forces the sap through a series of membranes separating larger sugar molecules from smaller water molecules. Sap entering the RO has a sugar content of about 2.5%, and sap leaving the RO has a sugar content of 16%.
Sap at this stage is ready to enter the Evaporator. The Evaporator is an oil fired machine that has many compartments for boiling sap and finishing off Maple Syrup. Sap from the RO is pumped into holding tanks above the evaporator and then is gravity fed into large pans at the rear, the first stage of firing. Sap travels through the pans in the evaporator where its sugar content is rapidly climbing. Sap leaving the large pans flows into the flu pans at the front of the arch. These pans finish the process of turning Maple Sap into Maple Syrup.
Maple Syrup is then drawn off the arch and sent through the filter press where niter is separated from the Maple Syrup. The syrup is then pumped into Stainless Steel and Food Grade barrels for storage and sale.