Maple producers across New York are preparing for two maple weekends to highlight their product to consumers.
It’s an opportunity for a trip into the woods to check the taps or the vacuum system, and then tour a sugarhouse to learn how sap is boiled to make the quintessential taste of the northeast - maple syrup. New York state produced three hundred sixty thousand gallons in 2012, down from five hundred sixty four thousand gallons in 2011. Heat waves in March last year stopped production early. New York State Department of Agriculture spokesman Joe Morrissey.
New York State Maple Weekend showcases producers and the first is this weekend. The Upper Hudson Maple Producers Association expects nearly half of its member sugarhouses to participate. Mary Jeanne Packer is the marketing manager for the association and at Mapleland Farms in Salem.
New York State Maple Producers Association Executive Director Helen Thomas reports that the sap run has, so far, amounted to a good, normal season. Thomas says the weekend events should allow consumers to see what producers can accomplish in a short, typically six-week, harvest season.
According to the USDA’s New England Agricultural Statistics Service, the U.S. produced 1.91 million gallons of maple syrup in 2012, down thirty-two percent from 2011. Vermont led production with seven hundred fifty thousand gallons, followed by Maine and New York which tied at three hundred sixty thousand gallons. Massachusetts produced forty thousand gallons of maple syrup.
More information on maple weekend is available here.