Posts Tagged ‘Maple Sugaring’

Friday, March 4, 2022

Sweet News – Maple Weekend is Back 

I have good news for readers who’ve never visited a working sugarhouse or seen maple syrup being made, but are curious about the process and would like to know more. Maple Weekend is coming. During the weekends of March 19 and 20 and March 26 and 27, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., member producers of the Northeastern New York Chapter of the New York State Maple Producers Association (NYSMPA) are joining maple tree-farming families across New York State in opening their sugarhouses to the public.

It’s a great opportunity for your family to visit one or more of the region’s family-run maple sugaring operations to see first-hand, from tree to table, how delicious, local maple syrup and other maple confections are made and to sample and take home some of the best tasting, pure, natural maple products in the world. Weather permitting, you’ll be able to watch the sap to syrup process unfold right before your eyes.

Maple Weekend is agri-tourism at its finest; an annual event organized by NYSMPA, funded by both NYSMPA members and the NY State Department of Agriculture and Markets, and supported and championed by Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Cornell Maple Program. The Maple Weekend initiative began in the mid-1990s, when NYSMPA producer-members across the state, in the first coordinated effort of this type, opened their doors for an event they called Maple Sunday. The objective for this year’s Maple Weekend event is the same as it was then; to provide an opportunity for interested persons to see for themselves, personally, how maple trees are tapped and how sap is collected and boiled into pure, delicious maple syrup.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Maple Sap Runs on Gas

Some foods give you gas, but March is the time of year when gas gives you a delicious food. Maple syrup, which is nutritious enough to be listed by the US Department of Agriculture as a food, is carbon dioxide-powered. If it wasn’t for a bunch of little gas bubbles in the wood or xylem tissue, maple sap would not flow. Who knew that trees were carbonated?

A mere two decades ago, biologists and arborists were at a loss to explain what causes maple sap to run. They’d typically mumble something about vacuum and straws before changing the subject. Everyone was aware that below-freezing nights followed by warm days led to sap flow. But it wasn’t until recent years that the mechanism behind sap flow was better – although still not perfectly – understood.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 7, 2021

Harvest of the Month: Maple

Adirondack March Maple Syrup EventsWhat is Maple Syrup?

Maple syrup is the sap from maple trees that has been collected, heated, and concentrated down to a sweet liquid. This is different than what is sold at the grocery store as “pancake syrup,” which is primarily corn syrup. 

Sugar Maple Trees begin to produce sugary water called sap when the temperatures reach above 40 degrees F during the day and below 32 degrees F at night. The freezing and thawing temperature fluctuations push sap through the tree so that it has the nutrients needed to grow. You can read a more comprehensive explanation of this process here. 

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Maple workshops planned at Paul Smiths

march maple tappingPaul Smith’s College presents “School of  Maple” —  Free hands-on workshops for aspiring  and expanding maple producers. 

The schedule is:

March 6: Introduction to Sugaring 

March 13: Advance Sap & Syrup Processing 

March 20: Marketing & Expanding Your  Maple Business  

Preregistration is required by emailing jbrandis@paulsmiths.edu 

All workshops run 9am to 4pm at Paul Smith’s College Sugar Bush, White Pine Road, Paul Smiths, NY 12970

Photo provided by Northern New York Agricultural Development Program/Almanack archive


Saturday, March 7, 2020

Craving Natural Sweetness? There’s a Sap for That

maple jack wax being madeThe fourteenth annual Thurman Maple Days, a three-weekend event, is set to kick-off Saturday and Sunday, March 14 and 15, continuing through March 29th. The event offers self-guided tours of eight agricultural sites in the rural town of Thurman, self-dubbed “Maple Capital of Warren County,” just 20 minutes from downtown Lake George. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 13, 2019

A Tale of Two Sugar Making Seasons

sugaring The 2019 maple sugaring season has, for most, just ended in the Northeast. And so sugarmakers are tallying up their sap and syrup volumes to see how they made out. My sense, as a sugarmaker myself, is that most did well.

In tallying our own numbers, it was interesting to look at this year compared to last, as things unfolded in very different ways. In 2018 we collected our first sap on February 19, and our last on April 4. Within that 45-day window, we collected sap on 25 days. This year we collected our first sap on March 12 and our last on April 7. In that 28-day window, we collected on 26 days. In other words, we collected roughly the same number of days, it’s just that last season was drawn out, and this one was compressed. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 28, 2019

Exploring the History of Maple Syrup

Mike Todriff firing the sugar boiler in 2018 (Shannon Houlihan photo)I don’t think there’s a more magnificent forest tree or more glorious shade tree than the sugar maple (Acer saccharum); a deciduous tree that matures in 30-50 years, generally growing to between 70 and 90 feet tall, with a crown that turns a brilliant, fiery yellow, orange, or red at summer’s end. The sugar maple is the official state tree of New York, Vermont, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. It’s also the national tree of Canada. And the maple leaf is the Canadian national emblem.

For sugarmakers, this is maple season. Having tapped thousands of maple trees, they now harvest their reward; collecting the sap that brings the region’s maples out of winter dormancy and boiling it down, with pride and care, to just the right consistency for pure maple syrup and the delicious cream, candies, and confections made from maple sugar. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 7, 2019

Maple Sugaring Season Is Almost Here

It may be difficult to believe with all the fresh fallen Adirondack snow and freezing temperatures, but spring is right around the corner, along with the sweetest time of all – maple sugaring season.

Making sugar from maple tree sap is weather dependent (typically temps over 40 during the day and into the 20s at night are best). In the Adirondacks, the season can be short, it can stop and start, or seem to go on forever any time from mid-February and mid-April, depending on the location of the sugar bush.  But March is always the best time in the Adirondacks to get into a sugar shack and take home some treats. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 27, 2019

Hadley’s Maple In April Festival On Tap

maple in aprilA “Maple in April Festival” has been set for April 27-28, from 9 am to 4 pm, in Hadley along Rockwell Street, in Hadley Smead Memorial Park and at Wilder’s Sugar Shack. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 18, 2018

New Maple, Birch Tapping Research Released

march maple tappingThe Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has posted a research update with data to help maple and birch syrup producers respond to variable climate conditions.

The project has established baseline data for what are hoped to be continuing efforts to determine the optimal time to begin tapping birch trees in conjunction with maple production. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Adirondack Wildfire: The Destruction of Long Lake West

Damage by Laura Von RoskOver the years I have put my canoe into the waters at Low’s Lower Dam (constructed 1907); and paddled the meandering Bog River Flow up to Hitchins Pond.

I have carried around Low’s Upper Dam (built in 1903*), many times. I usually choose to camp on Low’s Lake, so I keep on going. But occasionally a day paddle and a short hike around Hitchins Pond is in order. It’s on these day paddles that I often walk the road (actually the old Maple Valley Railroad bed), as part of the Horse Shoe Forestry Company, constructed by Abbot Augustus “Gus” Low in 1900. If you know where to look, there are “sidings” where A. A. Low’s sugarhouses were located. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Paul Hetzler: More Blissful Ignorance, Please

It’s a rare blessing to have a job I absolutely love, but it’s not all roses. Although some of it is, literally, roses. All too often it is my dubious honor to bring to public awareness a new invasive pest or disease, and history has not always been kind to the bearers of bad news.

There is an old saying that knowledge is power, but there is another one that ignorance is bliss, and some days I’d be happy to trade some alleged power for a little bliss. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 4, 2018

Intense Tent Caterpillars

eastern tent caterpillarThey hang around on finely spun strands of silky string; blue-black caterpillars parachuting ever-so-slowly to earth, landing in yards, crawling around on decks and porches; even finding their way into homes. Over the past few weeks, several people have asked me about them. Some have been coping with large numbers of them. And one person asked if they were the same worms that make their webs in apple trees.

They are not. They are similar, though. Both are hairy. Both are dark colored. Both grow from less than one-eighth of an inch to two inches or larger over a six to eight week period. And both are tent caterpillars. Beyond that, they’re clearly different. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Sap is Running: Adirondack Maple Weekends

Cold nights and warm days are the perfect combination to make the maple sap flow. Though most commercial maple producers are already in full production, our family operation is a bit behind in collecting the sap.

Pancake breakfasts, wooded walks and maple tastings are all part of the menu for the two annual New York State Maple Producers Association’s Maple Weekends. In addition to these specially scheduled maple outings, some maple producers welcome drop-ins and individual tours. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

TAUNY’s Annual Sugaring-Off Party, March 10

TAUNY Sugaring Off PartyTAUNY’s annual Sugaring Off Party has been set for Saturday March 10th from 10 am to noon, at the TAUNY Center in Canton.

The Sugaring Off Party celebrates sugaring as French-Canadian families would have done a century ago. » Continue Reading.



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