Word from Thurman maple producers is that the sap is flowing, evaporators are boiling and there will be syrup and all kinds of maple confections for those who venture out this weekend (March 10 – 11) for the first of six Thurman Maple Days, which extend over three weekends through this month. Each weekend offers tours of three maple operations – Adirondack Gold Maple, Toad Hill Maple and Valley Road Maple, all offering tours of sugarbushes and sugarhouses, with demonstrations and talks concerning tapping, evaporating, filtering and candy-making.
Also opening their doors will be Martin’s Lumber, which is the home of a Certified Tree Farm and sawmill—this time of year featuring handsome maple slabs, and Lucyann’s Paper Bead Jewelry and Stained Glass Stepping Stones, all of which will be demonstrated. Tours and demonstrations at all sites run 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. Valley Road Maple Farm opens an hour early each day, serving pancakes and Oscar’s sausages from 9 till 1. Be sure to take a camera and email your best shots to ThurmanInfo@aol.com.
On Saturday, March 10, the annual Maple Sugar Party will begin at 4 p.m. and continue until all are served. Hod Ovitt and The Warren County Ramblers will entertain with mountain music while guests enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet topped off by a dessert of old-fashioned jack wax. Admission is $10 adults, $5 for kids 6-11, and free for those 5 and under. Tickets are available at the door. This event has been raising money to support The American Cancer Society for over fifty-three years. Sugar party Info. 518-623-9649 or 623-4050 the day of the party.
A much-discussed topic this year has been whether the strange weather will affect the flow of sap. Most producers concur that the “open winter” should not affect production as long as the weather continues to freeze at night and rise above 32° F. in the daytime. Randy Galusha of Toad Hill Maple Farm notes, “Warm weather can have an impact on the trees’ metabolism and sap’s sugar content, leading to predominantly darker grades of syrup. Low sugar content requires more boiling to produce a gallon of syrup and more boiling means darker syrup. It could also mean less syrup if the sugar content is consistently low. I checked our first sap and it was at 2.3% sugar, which is about average. We are all ready to go and expecting a big turnout for Thurman Maple Days.”
More information and a downloadable brochure and map can be found online.