Local sugarmakers will be part of Maple Open House Weekends

GREENWICH — The Upper Hudson Maple Producers Association is taking part in New York state’s 22nd annual Maple Open House Weekends.

A tree tapping ceremony to kick-off the event in the region took place today at Toad Hill Maple Farm in Thurman with New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets Commissioner Richard Ball and other state and local officials invited to participate.

“This is our first time hosting the tapping ceremony and we’re very excited for it,” said Jill Galusha of Toad Hill Maple Farm in a news release. “We’ve been involved with the Maple Open House Weekends for over 10 years. We really enjoy meeting people that are interested in maple; and find that it’s a great opportunity to teach people about what’s involved in the sugaring process.”

The Maple Open House Weekends take place March 18 and 19 and March 25 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

The public is invited to take a free tour of 24 different upper Hudson region sugarhouses and see how maple syrup is produced.

 “We’re inviting area families to come and experience first-hand the sights, smells, and sounds of maple sugar-making,” said David Campbell, a Salem producer and president of the Upper Hudson Maple Producers Association. “Most sugarhouses offer samples and demonstrations, and many of the locations serve a pancake breakfast, as well, for a nominal fee.”

“Toad Hill Maple will be using a hay wagon to give visitors a tour of our sugarbush,” said Galusha. “We will be showcasing our new covered bridge on the tour.”

Sugarhouses participating in the Upper Hudson event are located throughout Washington, Warren, Saratoga, Rensselaer, Fulton and Montgomery counties.

New to the event this year is Battlehill Maple in Fort Ann.

Several area sugarhouses will take part in the event.

Frasier’s Sugar Shack in St. Johnsville, Brower Road Sugar House in Gloversville, Mud Road Sugar House in Ephratah, Nightingale’s Maple Farm in Amsterdam, Peaceful Valley Maple Farms in Johnstown and McComb’s Oak Hill Farm in Speculator.

∫ Mud Road Sugar House, located at 278 Mud Road in Ephratah, will be making maple cream, boiling sap and using our reverse osmosis machine. Weather permitting, there will sugar bush tours. On Sundays of the event, there will be wagon rides.

Maple cotton candy also will be available, along with lots of samples.

For more information, visit www.mudroadsugarhouse.com.

∫ Brower Road Sugar House, which is located at 150 Brower Road, will offer free samples and confection demonstrations.

For more information, call (518) 848-7685 or (518) 775-6499.

∫ Frasier’s Sugar Shack, located at 144 Church St. in St. Johnsville, will offer a tree-tapping demonstration and, weather permitting, sap will be boiled. Maple syrup and maple confections will be available for sale.

For more information, visit www.frasierssugarshack.com.

∫ Peaceful Valley Maple Farms, located at 116 LaGrange Road in Johnstown, will offer demonstrations of how to make syrup.

There also will be an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, which will be served all four days from 7 a.m. to noon.

For more information, call (518) 365-1574 or (518) 762-8936.

∫ Nightingale’s, which is located at 4888 Jersey Hill Road in Amsterdam, will demonstrate the sap-collection system and the processing of sap from reverse osmosis through to finished syrup, weather permitting. There will be taste testing as well. For more information, visit www.nightingalesmaplefarm.com.

∫ At McComb’s Oak Hill Farm in Speculator, visitors will have the opportunity to see all aspects of making syrup.

Weather permitting, the process of sap collection, use of reverse osmosis and boiling in a wood fired evaporator will be demonstrated.

Refreshments will be served. For more information, call (518) 548-6105 or (518) 567-8181.

Signs will be placed along roadsides over the course of both weekends to direct motorists to the sugarhouses.

Visit www.upperhudsonmaple.com for more information about the event.

New York ranks as one of the top maple producing states in the U.S.

The Upper Hudson region is among the largest syrup producing areas in New York state.

The Upper Hudson Maple Producers Association is a trade organization representing over 50 different maple producers, including sugaring operations ranging from less than 100 taps to over 10,000.

They work together to raise consumer awareness of pure maple syrup made in the Upper Hudson Region.

To find more information about local sugar making, maple recipes, and maple events in the Upper Hudson Region, visit www.upperhudsonmaple.com.

By Chad Fleck

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