Thursday, March 5, 2009

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.

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