Sunday, March 22, 2009


It's that time of year. Sugarmakers all over the state are boiling sap and making syrup. That means were firing up the burners and filtering our gold grade A Amber and our Grade B Dark.

And in a few weeks we'll start boiling vanilla and raspeberry syrups as well.

Here's an interview with Mike Bennett, one of our sugar makers talking about the season.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Fulton, Hamilton, Rensselaer, Saratoga,
Warren,Washington Counties

Fulton County

Frasier Sugar Shack
144 Church Street, St. Johnsville
phone: 518-568-7438
Participating: March 28th and 29th

Our 1,200-tap all-pipeline operation features a 3’x12’ oil fired evaporator with steamaway. We make maple cream, candy, maple coated peanuts and maple coated topping.

Directions: From Johnstown take Route 29 West about 10-12 miles to Lasselville. Turn right on County Highway 119. Go two miles and turn right on Church Street. Our sugarhouse will be on the right.

Mud Road Sugar House
261 Mud Rd, Ephratah
phone: 518-863-6313
Participating: March 21nd,22rd,28th and 29th

The Duesler family has been producing syrup for over 40 years. In addition to syrup they make maple cream and maple candy with a full line of glass containers. Sap gathered from 1,400 taps and is boiled on a wood-fired 4’x12’ evaporator with a 500 gallon reverse osmosis and filter.

Directions: Take NYS Thruway to the Canajoharie exit. Take Route 10 North for seven miles (just past Ephratah Firehouse) and turn right onto Mud Road. The sugarhouse will be about 1.5 miles down the road on the right.

Peaceful Valley Maple Farms
116 Lagrange Rd, Johnstown
Participating: March 21nd,22rd,28th and 29th

The Savage family have produced maple syrup for over 20 years but are only in their fourth year in their new state of the art sugarhouse. Their wood fired evaporator is complemented by a reverse osmosis which easily handles their 5000 taps. They carry a full line of maple products in their maple store.Serving a pancake breakfast weekends February-April and October-December.

Directions: Take Route 29 west out of Johnstown, take a right onto county highway 131,take next right which is Route 131A also known as O'Neil Ave., Lagrange Road is the first left on Route 131A, sugarhouse is immediately on your left.

Hamilton County

McComb's Oak Hill Maple Farm
Elm Lake Rd, Speculator
phone: 518-548-6105
Participating: March 21nd,22rd,28th and 29th

The McComb family produces maple syrup less than a mile from beautiful Lake Pleasant. Totally new operation in 1999. They use a 3x12 wood fired evaporator, with a forced draft. They have a state of the art tubing system on vacuum that runs to the sugarhouse. This operation is worth the drive to see.

Directions: 1.5 miles east from the intersection of Rt. 30 and Rt. 8 in the Village of Speculator

Rensselaer County

Kent's Sugar House
Plank Rd., Berlin
phone: 518-658-2134
Participating: March 28th & 29th

1000 taps all on tubing. 3x10 wood fired evaporator with a steamaway.We make; maple syrup,maple cream,maple candy and granulated maple sugar. As a special treat you can see a team of oxen, with the special names of Maple and Syrup.

Directions: Starting at the State Intersection of Routes 7 & 22, go south on Route 22 for apx. 12 miles, you will see a caution light by the Bank of America, turn right onto County Route 40, go 1.25 miles, sugarhouse will be on your right.

Saratoga County

Maple Valley Farm
84 Harris Road, Corinth
Participating: March 28th & 29th

Donald Modica started the 2,000-tap operation in 1962 and it is now in its fifth generation of maple producers. We boil on a 6’x18’ wood fired evaporator with 1,000 taps on vacuum tubing and 1,000 taps on natural flow tubing. In addition to our maple demonstrations and sampling, events will include hayrides to the sugarhouse, demonstrations by the local antique engine club, snowshoe racing and honeybee history Serving a pancake breakfast the second weekend.

Directions: From South Take I-87 North to Exit 16. Turn left on Ballard Road and go straight into Corinth to Route 9N. Go north on 9N for about two miles and turn left Antone Road. Go about one-half mile to Harris Road and turn right. From North take I87 South to Exit 21. Turn right on Route 9N and go south about 12 miles through Lake Luzerne. About one mile after crossing the Hudson River turn right on Harris Road and the farm will be about two miles down the road.

Nightingale's Maple Farm
Jersey Hill Rd.,Town of Galway
phone: 518-882-9334
Participating: March 21nd,22rd,28th and 29th

Family run sugarhouse with nearly 3000 taps all on a tubing network, processing sap with R/O and oil fired evaporator. We welcome visitors during the season and sell our products year round.

Directions: From intersection of state highway 67 & 147(Scotch Church) 1.5 miles West on 67, turn right North onto Jersey Hill Rd. 2 miles on right. Also follow NYS Maple DOT signs on Rte 67

Warren County

Adirondack Gold Maple Farm
74 Bear Pond Road, Thurman
Participating: March 21nd,22rd,28th and 29th

We are a third generation maple producers with an old fashioned sugarhouse. We have a total of 600 taps, 500 of which are on tubing. Our stainless steel evaporator is a wood fired 2’x6’. We offer a full line of maple products.

Directions: Take I-87 to Exit 23. Turn Right onto Route 9 North into Warrensburg. Turn left onto Route 418 and follow it to the end and then take an immediate right onto Athol Road. Then follow the signs to Adirondack Gold Maple Farm.

Toad Hill Maple Farm
151 Charles Olds Road, Thurman
phone: 518-623-4744
Participating: March 21nd,22rd,28th and 29th

The Galusha Family has produced pure Adirondack Maple Products at Toad Hill for more than 30 years. Toad Hill is the largest maple producer in Warren County with more than 4,000 vacuum-assisted taps spread across three sugar bushes.

Directions: Take I-87 to Exit 23. Turn Right onto Route 9 North into Warrensburg. Turn left onto Route 418 and follow it to the end and then take an immediate right onto Athol Road. Then follow the signs to Toad Hill Maple Farm.

Valley Road Maple Farm
190 Valley Road, Thurman
phone: 518-623-9783
Participating: March 21nd,22rd,28th and 29th

Sugarmakers Mike Hill and Ralph Senecal boil in a new state-of-the-art sugarhouse. They have 1,500 taps on vacuum with reverse osmosis. We have a full line of maple products including syrup, cream, candy, sugar and maple cotton candy. Serving a pancake breakfast both weekends.

Directions: Take I-87 to Exit 23. Turn Right onto Route 9 North into Warrensburg. Turn left onto Route 418 and follow it to the end and then take an immediate right onto Athol Road. Then follow the signs to Valley Road Maple Farm..

Wallace's Sugarhouse
312 Dippikill Road, Thurman
phone: 518-623-9406
Participating: March 21nd,22rd,28th and 29th

This will be the second year for the Wallace's new sugarhouse with all new equipment. Which includes a Leader 3'x12' wood fired evaporator with a steam away. This 2000 tap operation carries a full line of maple products.

Directions:From Warrensburg go north on Route 9 to Route 28, at the Glen Bridge take a left onto Glen Athol Road, go approximately 4 miles, take a right onto Parker Cross Road. Go 100 yards and take a right onto Dippikill Road, go 1.5 miles sugarhouse is on your right or take Route 418 from Warrensburg turn right onto Athol Road go 2 miles take a right onto Glen Athol Road , go 2 miles turn left onto Parker Cross road. Go 100 yards and take a right onto Dippikill Road, go 1.5 miles sugarhouse is on your right

Washington County

Dry Brook Sugar House
432 Chambers Rd, Salem
phone: 518-854-3955

Participating: March 21nd,22rd,28th and 29th

Kevin Keyes and Bob Chambers welcome you to their 6,000-tap operation. Our sugarhouse is located at the Chambers family dairy, where 700 cows are milked each day and 500 heifers are being raised.Serving a pancake breakfast both weekends.

Directions: Located on Chambers Road east of Salem. Follow the signs off Route 153. Call for directions at 518-854-3955.

Grottoli’s Maple
91 Ritchie Road, Middle Granville
phone: 518-642-2856
Participating: March 21nd,22rd,28th and 29th

Mike and Laurie Grottoli caught maple fever more then 16 years ago. They tap about 1,500 trees and offer a wide variety of delicious maple products for sale.Serving a pancake breakfast both weekends.

Directions: We are located just off Route 22 in Middle Granville. From the intersection of Rts. 22 & 149 in Granville, head north on Route 22 for 4 miles. Take a right onto Ritchie Road and we are the first place on the right.From the intersection of Rts. 4 and 22 head south on 22 for 7.3 miles take a left onto Ritchie Road and we are the first place on the right.

Highland Maple Farm
954 Coach Rd, Argyle
phone: 518-638-8586
Participating: March 21nd,22rd,28th and 29th

We have about 2,500 taps on our well established sugar bush. We take the sap and process it with our modern equipment to produce a high quality product. In addition to our award-winning maple syrup we make soft maple sugar, granulated maple sugar and maple cotton. We’ll have plenty of maple goodies on “tap” at our open house to welcome you to the magical maple season.

Directions: Located on Coach Road in Argyle. From NY Route 40 North, turn right on McEachren Hill Road. Go one-half mile to Coach Road and turn right on Coach Road. We’re about a quarter mile down the road.

Mapleland Farms
647 Bunker Hill Road, Salem
phone: 518-854-7669
Participating: March 21nd,22rd,28th and 29th

Mapleland Farms is a 8000 tap on tubing operation. Our sugarhouse features an oil-fired evaporator with reverse osmosis. We will be offering a pancake breakfast and samples of our full line of maple products both weekends.

Directions: Take either Route 29 or Route 40 to Route 49. Follow that to Cossayuna. Look for Bunker Hill Road and take that to our sugarhouse.

Rathbun's Maple Sugarhouse & Restaurant
1208 Hatch Hill Road, Granville
phone: 518-642-1799
Participating: March 21nd,22rd,28th and 29th

Rathbun’s Sugarhouse in North Granville has been a family affair for four generations. Started by Bill Rathbun in 1961, the farm today has 5,000 taps, which supplies lots of flavorful maple syrup to the Rathbun’s popular restaurant. Maple-inspired breakfasts are served Saturday and Sunday all year round.

Directions: Located two miles of Route 22 in North Granville. Just turn at the North Granville store and follow the signs.

Sugar Mill Farm
2469 State Route 29, Greenwich
phone: 518-692-2486
Participating: March 21nd,22rd,28th and 29th

John & Michele Reid started their operation ten years ago. Already they’ve grown to 4,000 taps. The sap is processed through a 1,200 gallon per hour reverse osmosis machine and then boiled on a wood-fired 3’x12’ evaporator with steam away.
Directions: Take Route 29. We’re about 3.1 miles out of Greenwich at the corner of Ryan Road and Route 29.

13th Annual New York State Maple Weekend

13th Annual Maple Weekend
Great Crop Expected

Despite a down year for production in 2007, New York maple producers are anticipating a bumper crop for 2008 that will keep them ranked among the world’s largest producers. They hope the public will join in the celebration during Maple Weekend.

On March 29-30 from 10am - 4pm each day, about 110 of the finest maple producers throughout New York State, from Buffalo to Albany, Rochester to Binghamton and Jamestown to Plattsburgh, will open their sugarhouses to demonstrate the making of maple products "from the tree to your table." The event is free to the public.

Maple Weekend is a free, family-oriented event that gives the public a chance to see how New York maple producers make some of the world's finest syrup and related products. For a list of participating maple producers and maps to their sugarhouses go online at

On Maple Weekend, visitors can see all aspects of maple making, from the tapping of the trees to get the sap, to the boiling of the sap into syrup. Some producers will also demonstrate the making of maple syrup into other products including maple cream, maple cotton candy and maple sugar. Most sugarhouses will allow people to sample the products.
Techniques of maple production vary from producer to producer. Some are state-of-the-art and some use traditional methods, so everyone is encouraged to visit several of the participating farms. In addition, many of the producers will have a variety of additional activities including horse and wagon rides, snowshoeing, guided walks in the woods and kids' corners.
In conjunction with Maple Weekend many all-you-can-eat pancake breakfasts featuring New York's finest maple syrup will help people satisfy their hunger and continue to
promote syrup and other maple products. A list of many of the participating pancake breakfasts is available on

New York State maple syrup has established its reputation as some of highest quality in the world. New York Maple producers continually strive to do a better job of telling people about it and that is what Maple Weekend is all about.

Last year, New York State’s approximately 1,500 maple syrup producers made more than 224,000 gallons of syrup according to the New York Agricultural Statistics Service. That was a decrease of 11% from 2006. The drop was caused when producers experienced some snow late in January, then a long warm spell, followed by an abundance of snow. The inconsistent weather pattern made it difficult for consistent sap flow. Syrup color was 54 percent dark, 40 percent medium, and 6 percent light.

Only Vermont produced more syrup in the United States recording 450,000 gallons. Maine experienced a severe production decline of 25% from the previous year dropping it into a virtual tie with New York for the second most maple production in the nation. Canada is the largest maple syrup producing country in the world.

New York’s 1.47 million taps produce enough sap to account for almost 18% of the maple syrup made in the United States. That averages 0.152 gallons of syrup for every tap in the state. The final value of the 2006 crop is estimated at $8.02 million, up 14% from the year before. The crop value for 2007 will be released in June of 2008.

The economic impact of maple production in New York State was an estimated $32 million in 2006. According the New York Agricultural Statistics Service, in the year 2006 it took almost 43 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.

Maple Weekend started as Maple Sunday twelve years ago as a handful of maple producers in Wyoming County organized a one-day event to promote maple products. The event became so successful and grew so quickly that it now includes producers throughout New York State.
“We just wanted another way to market our syrup. We never thought it would grow to this size,” said Greg Zimpfer of Attica, one of the founders of Maple Sunday. “But we’re thrilled that people across New York State are being turned onto maple syrup.”

So mark your calendars for March 29-30 and take the family to experience New York State maple!
Among those communities holding festivals are:
Albany County
Knox - Palm Sunday. 518-765-3500
Allegany County
Andover - last weekend in March. 607-478-8455
Cattaraugus County
Franklinville - last weekend in April. 716-676-9910
Central New York
Marathon - last weekend in March.
Marcellus - every Saturday in March. Centers for Nature Education at Baltimore Woods Onondaga County Park, 4007 Bishop Hill Road, Marcellus. 315-673-1350
Clinton County
Open Houses throughout county - last weekend in March. 518-493-6141
Lewis County
Croghan - 3rd Saturday in May. The American Maple Museum is a repository of maple production artifacts and offers an opportunity to learn the history of how maple is made. 315-346-1107
Putnam County
Cold Spring - mid-March. 845-265-3773
Schoharie County
Cobleskill - late April. 518-234-2067
Source: New York State Maple Producers Assoc.

Maple Festivals in Ohio

If sap is rising, time has come for syrup festivals
Thursday, March 5, 2009 3:30 AM
By Amy Saunders
This weekend, in celebration, four central Ohio parks and nature centers are hosting maple-themed events.
"It's the heart of the season," said Pat Quackenbush, naturalist at Hocking Hills State Park. "You have a tiny little window of about a month to get your festival in."
Maple trees are often tapped in February, when daytime weather encourages the flow of sap through such trees.

Once collected, the sap is poured through a wood-fired evaporator that boils the watery liquid into sweet maple syrup.
Activities take place rain or shine, barring severe weather.
Here's what the festivals have to offer:

Maple Sugaring in the Hills
Hocking Hills State Park, 19852 Rt. 664 S., Logan (740-385-8003,
times 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with hikes from noon to 4 p.m.
cost $6 for the pancake breakfast, free for other activities
A short hike through the woods also comes with lessons in science and history.
Visitors can learn how trees produce sugar (remember photosynthesis?) and see demonstrations of American Indian and pioneer techniques.
Indians collected sap in natural containers, such as hollowed-out logs, and used hot rocks to boil the substance into sugar. Similarly minded pioneers boiled sap in kettles.
Tours leave continually from Old Man's Cave visitor center.

Maple Syrup Festival
Malabar Farm State Park, 4050 Bromfield Rd., Lucas (419-892-2782,
times noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and March 14-15
cost free
A horse-drawn wagon will take visitors to the park's sugar camp, where maple syrup is made the modern way.
The techniques of American Indians and pioneers will also be highlighted during a walk among the trees.
Then, visitors can enjoy bluegrass music and buy maple-flavored snacks -- including popcorn and even beef jerky.
"It's sweet, like a teriyaki sauce," said Sybil Burkey, a member of the park staff.

Maple Syrup Madness
Dawes Arboretum, 7770 Jacksontown Rd., Newark (740-323-2355,
times 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through Saturday
cost free
Dawes Arboretum will highlight the evolution of maple syrup on educational signs along the way to a log cabin.
There, visitors can observe the modern process and taste the result.
The arboretum doesn't produce enough syrup to sell: About 60 gallons of sap are needed to make 1 gallon of syrup, spokeswoman Laura Appleman said.
Dawes volunteers, however, enjoy the products at an appreciation breakfast.

Maple Sugar Festival
Stratford Ecological Center, 3083 Liberty Rd., Delaware (740-363-2548,
time 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, with breakfast ending at noon
cost $8, or $6 for children 2 to 12
The day will begin with a breakfast of sausage and pancakes with maple syrup.
Visitors will then take a horse-drawn wagon to the "sugarbush," where they'll learn the origins of the meal.
During a guided or self-guided hike, walkers can tap a tree for sap and watch it being cooked in an evaporator.
The center also offers other activities, such as wool spinning and candle making; and sells farm-made products, including maple syrup.

Boston Examiner: Local Maple Syrup is Sutainable and Good for You

Maple syrup season
March 4, 4:22 PM
Boston Examiner
Leah Bloom

Throughout New England, maple trees are being tapped for syrupIt may still look like winter out there, but the sap is flowing - literally! March is Massachusetts Maple Month, the time when trees around the state are tapped for and their sap collected to make all of your favorite maple-flavored treats.

The sugar maple tree, acer saccharum, is native to North America, and has been here for many hundreds of years. The trees are unusually susceptible to pollution, especially acid rain, soil acidification, and the salt used to treat icy roads. This makes them a good indicator of what state the environment is in, and sadly, their population has declined in recent decades.

When properly cared for, sugar maples reach maturity (the age at which they can be tapped) at 40 years, and yield sap for 100 years or more. But trees can only be tapped once or twice during the maple sugaring season, and each tap yields only about 10 gallons, enough sap for a single quart of maple syrup. If you've noticed that maple syrup prices have gone through the roof at your local grocery, now you know why.

That said, maple syrup is still a wonderful sustainable food. The trees are not harmed by tapping, and syrup production tends to be low-tech and often relies on renewable resources to boil the sap down to syrup. The end product is a natural sweetener that stays fresh indefinitely, and in buying it, you are supporting local farmers.

Read more at:

Profile of Leah Bloom: Leah Bloom is a foodie who loves French fries as much as fiddleheads. She strives to eat humanely and sustainably, but isn’t above the occasional fast food meal. Join her on a gastronomic journey that’s good for the planet and your palate.

Hartford Courant Highlights 2009 Sugaring Season

Tapping Maple Syrup Gold Mine
Producers Taking Advantage Of Record High Prices
By JOHN CURRAN Associated Press
March 5, 2009

For years, Errol Tabacco was a maple-sugar hobbyist. Each February, he'd tap about 100 trees on his property in Eden, Vt., haul buckets of sap to his garage and boil it into syrup for his family and friends.This year's different.Spurred by retail prices of $60 or more per gallon, maple-sugar producers such as Tabacco are going all out to harvest it, tapping more trees, investing in new sap lines and building new sugarhouses in hopes of cashing in.Tabacco is racing to get up to 12,000 trees tapped by the time the sap starts running during the next few weeks. "This year, we're going big-time," he says.

For backyard hobbyists and larger commercial producers alike, New England's "sugarin' season" could be a real moneymaker this year. The University of Vermont's Proctor Research Center estimates 300,000 taps will be added this year.Global demand for the sticky-sweet syrup outstripped supply last year, in part because lingering winter cold and heavy snow combined to slow sap flow in Quebec, Maine and parts of Vermont. That, combined with the exhaustion of Canadian reserves, has helped drive up prices, experts said.In 2007, the average retail price of a gallon of maple syrup was $33.20, up $1.90 from the previous year, according to federal data.

Now, it fetches $59.95 or more in Vermont, and more elsewhere.

Read the rest at: