The heritage of three generations of maple artistry fills the air at Autumn Ridge Maple Farm family homestead on the shores of Worcester Lake in northern Wisconsin, especially during the maple syrup harvest.
Along with the nostalgic ambiance created by a hundred-year-old Maple grove and the healthy sweetener provides, Autumn Ridge Maple Farm is a place many people visit to reminisce about summers they spent here at Sam Johnson’s Lakeside Resort.
Autumn Ridge Maple Farm built on a heritage of special memories
The resort built by Johnson in the late 1920s, started as a small dairy farm and community-gathering place. As the resort grew, so did the memories for many people. From the home-churned ice cream and sandwiches served on hot summer days, to the four-acre field filled with Model Ts from a community event, Lakeside Resort became a destination spot.
Though the resort closed more than forty years ago, people still visit the property every year to sit by the lake and relive cherished memories about good times and special people.
Maple farm husbandry and artistry passed from generation to generation
Clyde Dickinson instilled the love of family, outdoors and sugar making in the life of his young grandson, Michael Orysen. Under the guidance of his grandfather, Michael at age eight, began to develop a love for the trees and a passion for the fine art of sugar making. From cooking down sap in an open pot, to building his first sugar shack and purchasing his first wood-fired evaporator at the age of twelve, Michael’s life-long passion crafting pure maple syrup grew.
Carrying on the traditions handed down through his rich family history, Michael Orysen, a third-generation sugar maker, founded Autumn Ridge Maple Farm in 2008 on the very homestead built by his grandfather Johnson more than 90 years ago.
“Our beautiful trees are provided by family and community members, who entrust us with management of their beautiful hardwood forests,” said Michael. “From the time the sap is harvested, we work meticulously to preserve the natural maple syrup quality, then we develop the delicate flavors and subtle undertones under careful watch at the sugarhouse. Each barrel of our pure maple syrup has a distinctive body, color, aroma and taste.
Autumn Ridge Maple Farm’s sugarhouse is a state-of-the-art USDA and FDA inspected facility.
During the sap harvesting season, the sugarhouse bustles with activity including tours, teaching sessions and of course, the gathering of Autumn Ridge Maple’s friends and neighbors who stop by for ice cream or waffles with fresh, pure maple syrup.
Autumn Ridge Maple Farm does not use fillers or buy-bulk syrup to mix with their syrup. At Autumn Ridge Maple Farm you can be assured that you’re buying a healthy sweetener, made from natural maple syrup.
Please make plans to join us in the spring. You can make Autumn Ridge Maple Farm a destination for a family tradition.
Autumn Ridge Maple Farm Syrup is crafted from the sap collected from our 150-year-old maple grove. Combined with temperature, weather and minerals in the soil, this grove produces unique flavors at each phase of the harvest.
Unlike other crops, there is no predefined “sap harvesting season.” Generally, the sap harvest begins when the temperatures start to warm above freezing during the days in February and ends as the trees begin to bud and leaf out in April. The length of the season is highly dependent on the temperature. Temperatures reaching the 40s during the day and dropping below freezing at night combine to create the pressure inside the maple tree that forces out the sap.
When the sap is running, Autumn Ridge Maple Farm’s maple syrup artisan and founder, Michael, blends tradition with technology as he taps the maple trees and collects the pure maple sap through a network of pipelines. This state-of-the-industry, low-impact collection process preserves the health and beauty of the forest.
The sap lines are checked daily throughout the season as healthy sweetener flows from the trees to the sugarhouse, where it is cooled rapidly to preserve quality and flavor until it is ready to be transformed into syrup.
As the sap is fed into the evaporator, maple syrup artisan painstakingly monitor the evaporator to maintain the perfect temperature that creates the quality pure maple syrup with subtle changes in colors, flavors, tastes and body characteristic of the year and phase of the season.
At this point, Autumn Ridge Maple Farms distinguishes itself from other maple sugar produces, by identifying the essence of the syrup at each phase of the harvest. Each bottle of Autumn Ridge Maple Farm’s syrup preserves the distinctive, natural maple sugar flavor with its subtle undertones or bold overtones for enjoyment throughout the year.