LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In February, the University of Kentucky's Department of Forestry and Natural Resources is drawing attention to a growing industry in the Commonwealth. Kentucky has several maple syrup-producing farms, and they’ll be showcased during two Kentucky Maple Days.

What You Need To Know

  • The University of Kentucky Department of Forestry and Natural Resources is holding two Kentucky Maple Days in February

  • Blues End Farm will hold its Kentucky Maple Day celebration Saturday, Feb. 17 

  • The Shelbyville farm will offer public tours, educating visitors about maple syrup production 

  • Its owners, Doug and Ruth Welch, will also sell its syrup and baked goods made with it 

The first Kentucky Maple Day will be Saturday, Feb. 3. The second will be Saturday, Feb. 17, in which Shelbyville's Blues End Farm will participate. 

Doug and Ruth Welch bought the Blues End Farm property in the early 2000s and began producing maple syrup shortly afterward. 

For more than 15 years, the Welch family has been tapping maple trees on the property around this time of year.

There's a science to it. Sap only flows on days that get above freezing, after the weather was below freezing the night before. The temperature difference creates pressure that makes the sap flow.

“You can’t say, ‘Hey, you know, I’m going to take the day off,’" Doug said. "This sap, if you leave it in the bucket for a day, it’d probably be all right. Two days, it’s gone sour, and you’re not making syrup.”

The Welch family spends hours collecting sap and making it into syrup on days the sap is flowing. There are 150 maple trees on the property that collect buckets of the sap.

Once the family collects the sap, it’s taken to an evaporator tank, where it will eventually be boiled to turn into a more syrupy liquid. It’s then cooked on a stove and measured until it turns into actual maple syrup.

It takes 50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup.

Doug, Ruth and their daughter, Bethany, want to share their love for maple syrup with as many people as possible. That’s why they participate in Kentucky Maple Day yearly and will host a large Kentucky Maple Day celebration this year.

“We give tours to people who come, [showing] them all of our whole operation,” Doug said.

Blues End Farm will also sell its syrup and baked goods made with it, along with maple taffy on snow experiences for guests.

"Kentucky maple syrup is the best," Doug said. 

In addition to syrup, Blues End Farm sells fresh eggs year-round and U-pick blueberries in the summer.

The Blues End Farm Maple Day celebration will be held Saturday, Feb. 17 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The farm is at 1447 Woodlawn Road in Shelbyville.