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Maple weekend — One weekend just isn’t enough

March 9, 2011
By RICHARD GAST

Maple Weekend is coming. And this year it's so big that it's two weekends; March 19 and 20 and March 26 and 27, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day.

Regional member producers of the New York State Maple Producers Association invite you to come and see, first-hand, from tree to table, how their homemade, delicious maple products are produced, and to sample and take home some of the best tasting maple syrup in the world - pure New York maple syrup.

Maple syrup production has long been a thriving tradition in northern New York. As homeowners tap and set buckets on yard and roadside trees, and farmers and landowners tap trees in pastures and forests, the sweet smell of boiling maple sap signals the arrival of spring, as it has for many generations.

Maple syrup production is a time-honored practice, a popular hobby and an increasingly important part of farming to many hard-working North Country families. Well established maple producers turn out hundreds of gallons of quality maple syrup of exceptional flavor using the latest equipment, machinery and tools. And because of their hard work, we can all enjoy the finest quality syrup, cream, sugar and candy; products they take great pride in producing using traditional methods and modern equipment.

Each maple sugar-producing family's situation is unique, as are their values and their operations. Nonetheless, these families are united by a shared commitment to quality, self-sufficiency, sustainable forestry and environmental stewardship.

Please feel welcome to visit one or more of these family-run sugarbushes and experience first-hand how sugar maple trees are tapped and sap is collected and boiled into pure, delicious maple syrup. Weather permitting, you'll be able to watch the sap to syrup process unfold right before your eyes.

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Franklin County

Friend Maple Products

402 Spencer Road

Burke, NY 12917

Tel: 483-5559

Open March 26, 27

Allan and Mary Friend tend a 75- acre sugarbush of approximately 2,500 taps at their family farm on the Spencer Road in Burke. They currently produce between 400 and 500 gallons of syrup each year. They'd love to show you their newly built sugarhouse and let you taste their maple syrup, fresh from their new evaporator.

And, depending on the weather, the Friends plan to offer either horse-drawn sleigh or wagon rides to and through their sugarbush.

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Woods Maple Products

1470 County Route 23

Chateaugay, NY 12920

Tel: 497-6387

Open March 19, 20, 26, 27

Hamilton and Bill Wood operate a 5,000-tap sugarbush that has been carefully tended for generations. The Woods' sugarbush sits on about 100 acres of forest land on the Selkirk Road in Burke. Bill speaks lovingly about his grandfather, who started sugaring in 1924, and of the fun he had as a boy working with his father and grandfather in the bush and in the sugarhouse, where he would revel in the sweet aroma of syrup steam coming from the evaporator. Maple syrup season was his favorite time of year. Maybe it still is.

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Clinton County

Brow's Sugarhouse

89 Sugarbush Drive

West Chazy, NY 12992

493-5683

Open March 19, 20, 26, 27

Visitors can take free tours of the sugarhouse to see how their delicious maple products are made. Ask questions, try samples, and don't forget the camera!

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Parker Family Maple Farm

1043 Slosson Road

West Chazy, NY 12992

Tel: 493-6761

Open March 19, 20, 26, 27

In 1884, Adolphus and Amelia Parker set up their homestead on a one acre parcel of land. Five years later in 1889, they purchased another 60 acres; and the Parker Family Maple Farm was established. Five generations later, the Parker family continues to make the highest-quality maple syrup possible at their West Chazy farm, which now encompasses 700 acres of land. Not only are the Parkers one of the region's oldest maple syrup producing families; at 30,000 taps, they are also the largest.

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Essex County

Cornell University Sugar Maple Research Field Station and Uihlein Extension Forest

157 Bear Cub Lane

Lake Placid, NY 12946

Tel: 523-9337

Open Mar 19, 20, 26, 27

The Field Station's sugar bush of approximately 4,500 taps sits within a 200-plus-acre forest that serves as an outdoor laboratory for the study of forest management and health. Since the 1960s, Cornell maple researchers have been working to develop improved techniques for sap collection and syrup processing, and to identify and cultivate genetically improved maple stock. That research has resulted in several advancements and new technologies, including the development of vacuum enhanced tubing systems.

Please support the maple producers who support 4-H youth programs in Franklin County: Allan and Mary Friend; Charlie and Elaine Hesseltine; Joseph and Irene and Paul and Michelle Schork; Hamilton and Bill and Brenda Wood.

These producers sell pure maple syrup and value added maple products all year round, seven days a week.

For more information, contact Rich at Extension: 483-7403 or email rlg24@cornell.edu.

 
 

 

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