For two weekends (March 21 & 22, and March 28 & 29), join the fun and celebrate all things maple. The goal of these state-wide Maple Weekends is to give the public a firsthand opportunity to see how maple products are produced from farm to table, along with a chance to taste and purchase maple products.
Almost 160 maple producers across New York State open their facilities to show people how maple syrup and related maple products are made from the tree to their table. This fantastic, family-oriented event takes visitors back to their agricultural roots as they learn how a clear, water-like sap becomes a golden brown nectar. Each producer has something different to teach and entertain the guests. Whether it’s horse and wagon rides into the woods, farm animal petting areas or pancake breakfasts, there is something for everyone at Maple Weekend.
In Essex County alone, there are four participating sugar houses: Black Rooster Maple, Cornell University Uihlein Forest, Maple Brook Farm and Maple Knoll Farm.
We went to visit the Cornell University Uihlein Forest. There, we met with a group of local volunteers, who guided us through the entire syrup production process, beginning in the sugarbush where the sap is collected and ending in the sugarhouse where we could see, smell, and taste fresh maple syrup being made. We met Mike Farrell Ph.D, who told us about ongoing research projects and explained the four grades of syrup (common to all states and Canada). We were also lucky to taste eight varieties of syrup, ranging from birch, walnut to maple. At that stage, we could not resist buying a variety of maple products from the gift shop.
What a great time!