Lucas Willard / WAMC

An official tree-tapping ceremony was held in Schenectady County today to mark the 2018 maple sugaring season and New York’s Maple Weekend.

bottles of syrup
Cindy Schultz /

The Upper Hudson Maple Producers Association’s 2018 Maple Open House Weekends are this weekend and next. Events include demonstrations, samples, and free tours of area sugarhouses.

Maple Weekends happens at locations all across New York State. Here to tell us more are marketing manager for the Upper Hudson Maple Producers Association Mary Jeanne Packer – she lives on Mapleland Farms in Washington County.

We are also joined by Vernon “DJ” Duesler IV. DJ is a 4th generation maple syrup farmer from Ephratah in Fulton County. DJ and his dad Vern operate Mud Road Sugarhouse.

Maple tree tapped with tubing
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The USDA Agricultural Statistics Service issued its report on maple syrup production this week.  It shows that nationwide production this spring was up, with trees being tapped as early as January 1st.

Peter Barrett

Fish & Game restaurant in Hudson, New York, is a leader in the local foods movement. Its core approach—engaging intimately with nature both wild and domestic, building relationships with farmers, and exploring the joys of fermentation—is one of interest to anyone, anywhere, who yearns to cook and eat better food.

Project 258: Making Dinner at Fish & Game presents an enticing selection of seasonal recipes, profiles of key producers who supply the restaurant, and a fascinating, beautifully illustrated look at the processes—both intellectual and culinary—behind the food at Fish & Game.

Chef Zakary Pelaccio and artist Peter Barrett join us to tell us more.

Maple Bucket
WAMC Photo

Vermont produced a record amount of maple syrup this past year, thanks to an extended season with low temperatures and more people getting into the business or expanding their operations.

Maple Bucket
WAMC Photo

Sugarmakers in Vermont say early warm weather in March did not have a negative impact on the sugaring season.

maple bucket on tree
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Members of Congress from maple-producing states are joining industry groups in calling on the Food and Drug Administration to investigate and take action against products that claim to contain maple syrup but according to their ingredient lists don't.

Maple Bucket
Photo by Pat Bradley

Maple producers say the warm winter has allowed them to tap trees early, but this year's harvest could be down from last year.

Boiled maple
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Maple industry groups have sent a letter to the Food And Drug Administration asking it to take enforcement action against food companies that label items “maple” when they don’t actually contain maple.

Boiled maple
WAMC/Pat Bradley

In the maple-rich areas of New England and the upper Midwest, producers don't approve of fakers and want the FDA to take action.

Maple trees tapped with plastic tubing.
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A winter thaw has triggered sap to flow in maple trees, launching an early start to the maple syrup season for some producers in parts of New England.

Tapping Into Spring With Maple Sugar Farmers

Apr 14, 2015

As soon as the winter season comes to a close, maple sugar farmers are out the door with buckets and tubing equipment harvesting sap from their local area.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Warm days and cold nights are supposed to ease us into spring: slowly melt the snow and ice and let the crocuses burst into bloom.  The warm and cold cycle also triggers the sap run in maple trees and the start of sugaring season in the Northeast.  

It’s a sure sign of spring when the trees are tapped.  “There’s a little sap so we’ve got to get the spout in.”

And the sap flows into sugarhouses where evaporators get fired up to boil a sweet spring treat.
It’s maple season in the North Country.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Two large maple syrup producers are setting up operations in the Northeastern Vermont community of Island Pond.

  This coming Saturday, March 7th, The Ashokan Center in Olive Bridge, NY will host their family friendly Maple Fest!

The sugaring tradition goes back to the original Native populations of New York who eventually taught it to European settlers. Maple sugaring season in the Northeast typically begins in mid-February, and lasts through early April.

Tim Neu has been operating the maple sugaring program at the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, NY for 35 years as part of their Environmental Education Program.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is adopting new grading standards for maple syrup to match international standards. Maple producers say it’s needed so that consumers have a better understanding of what they are buying.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is revising the grading standards for maple syrup to match international standards so that consumers have a better understanding of what they are buying.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

New York State has edged out Maine to keep its spot as the nation's second biggest producer of maple syrup.

   Berkshire Grown supports and promotes local agriculture as a vital part of the Berkshire community, economy, and landscape. They are the “go to” network linking farmers and the Berkshire community; through events, workshops, promotions, advocacy, and education highlighting locally grown and produced food.

This year’s Berkshire Grown March Maple Dinner will take place on March 24 at Cranwell Resort in Lenox, MA. Area chefs will celebrate the first harvest of the season with a five-course dinner created using maple products from regional maple producers.

Here to tell us more about Barbara Zheutlin, the Executive Director of Berkshire Grown and Melissa Leab from Ioka Valley Farm.

   The Sugarmaker’s Companion is the first guide of its kind addressing the small-and large-scale syrup producer seeking to make a profitable business from maple, birch, and walnut sap.

This book incorporates valuable information on ecological forest management, value-added products, and the most up-to-date techniques on sap collection and processing. It also looks at an integrated sugaring operation, interconnected to the whole-farm system, woodland, and community.

Cornell University operates a maple research forest in Lake Placid. The manager of that sugarbush, Michael Farrell, has written a new book: The Sugarmaker’s Companion: An Integrated Approach to Producing Syrup from Maple, Birch and Walnut Trees looking at the management and economics of sugaring.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Consumers will soon be unable to purchase “Vermont Fancy” maple syrup. That’s because the state is adopting a new grading and labeling system that officials say better describes the product.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

At a sugarhouse in northern New York, New York’s senior Senator announced he is introducing legislation to increase maple production across New York State.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Senator Charles Schumer was at the Parker Family Maple Farm in West Chazy in northern New York on Monday.  He stopped there to announce legislation he is introducing to boost syrup production in the state.  While there, owner Earl Parker gave Schumer some fresh syrup, which New York’s senior Senator drank from the bottle.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Federal agriculture researchers will again be doing a census of New York maple syrup production in April and May.    

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the state ranked second to Vermont in last year's survey of producers in 10 states. Inspectors will collect information about the number of taps, yield, prices and the overall value of the maple products from New York. The results will be released in June. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Boiled maple
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Maple producers across New York are preparing for two maple weekends to highlight their product to consumers.

    Berkshire Grown supports and promotes local agriculture as a vital part of the Berkshire community, economy and landscape.

They will feature a special slate of chefs for their March Maple Dinner on March 18 at Cranwell Resort in Lenox to celebrate the first harvest of the season. The dinner will benefit Berkshire Grown and Share the Bounty, which buys shares in local farms for food pantries.


Vermont  lawmakers are considering dropping the state's traditional maple syrup-labeling system in favor of an international one.

The Vermont Senate has passed and sent to the House a resolution that supports the Agency of Agriculture’s proposal to adopt an administrative rule to implement international maple grading standards. Vermont Maple Sugarmakers’ Board Chair Jacques Couture explains that the international grading system is brand new.