Posts Tagged ‘Maple Sugaring’

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.


Friday, March 2, 2018

This Weekend In An Adirondack Sugar Shack

Mike Todriff firing the sugar boiler in 2018 (Shannon Houlihan photo)It’s that time of year. The sap is running and the buckets and tanks are filling. Backyard syrup makers large and small have been taking advantage of the recent sugaring weather to fire their arches and settle into the ancient and accepted rite of watching the boil.

Whatever you call it – a sugar party, sugaring-off, maple days – people will gather this weekend in old sugar shacks across the Adirondacks around rising steam for one of the great revelries of the season. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Guide To Adirondack Maple Syrup

Maple Sugar bucket - Glenn PearsallIt’s sugaring season, so here’s a round-up of stories about the fine art of maple syrup making in the Adirondacks. » 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.


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Weather Extremes And Maple Syrup Production

Sugarhouse at Brandy Brook Maple Farm in EllenburgNorthern New Yorkers are definitely not strangers to cold winter weather. But most of us would rather have not had to deal with the brutally relentless cold that gripped much of the nation during December and January.

According to data from the Southeast Regional Climate Center, cities including Buffalo, New York; Worcester, Massachusetts; and Bangor, Maine all experienced their coldest 2-week-stretch of weather ever recorded last Dec. 23 – Jan. 5. The week between Christmas and New Year’s was the coldest on record in Buffalo’s history. And, on Dec. 28, 30 record low temperatures were set across the country; the lowest of which was recorded in Watertown, NY; -32°F. Eighteen east coast cities saw record lows on January 2, including Morrisville, Vermont; -29°F. Their previous low for that date was -14°F. And let’s not forget he first major storm of 2018; the infamous ‘bomb cyclone’ or bombogenesis. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Cloning High Sugar Content Maples Focus of Research

NNYADP-funded research has produced the first Northern New York maple “sweet tree” clonesThe Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has posted the first results of a project evaluating the opportunity to clone high sugar maple trees. The long-term goal is to produce rooted “sweet tree” clones that maple producers can plant to enhance their sugarmaking operations.

Cornell University plant pathologist Keith L. Perry conducted the research in collaboration with Joe Orefice, director of the Cornell Uilhein Maple Research Forest in Lake Placid. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Thurman Maple Days Set For March

buckets on treesSugaring season is in full swing in Thurman. Thurman Maple Days are set to begin March 10 and 11, continuing Saturdays and Sundays through March 25. Five Thurman maple producers — four of them the largest in Warren County – will open their sugarhouses to show how this age-old art is practiced with the help of technological advancements.

Each weekend offers open barns at Adirondack Gold, Valley Road, Hidden Hollow, Toad Hill and Windy Ridge maple farms, all offering free tours of sugarbushes and sugarhouses, with demonstrations and talks about tapping, evaporating, filtering and candy-making. Toad Hill will offer wagon rides to the sugar bush through a traditional covered bridge. Windy Ridge will demonstrate sugaring done the old fashioned way, a pancake breakfast will be held at Valley Road, and Adirondack Gold Tapper’s will lead snowshoe hikes into the sugar bush. » Continue Reading.