Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Maple Sugaring March 10 & 11 and March 17, 19

The Maple Calendar

Lamothe's Sugar House in Burlington starts the season early with the chance to see how syrup is made every weekend from February 12 to March 26. This family owned operation began as a hobby with seven taps and has grown to over 4500 taps and a year-round showroom.  Coffee and cider are complimentary to visitors. Along with the maple syrup business the family also raise pigs, and mini-lop bunnies.

One of the busiest sugaring spots is the Flanders Nature Center Sugar House at Van Vleck Farm Sanctuary in Woodbury.  Demonstrations are conducted by staff and volunteers on March 5, 6, 12 and 13th and the season ends with an annual grand finale Maple Celebration on March 19. On March 6 the day begins with a pancake breakfast, topped with Flanders' own maple syrup. The final winter festival on March 19 features music, bird talks and walks, cooking and wood bowl turning demonstrations, maple food sampling, cooking demonstrations and special kids' crafts and activities.

At Warrups Farm in Redding, visitors also are welcome the first three weekends in March to watch the whole process, sap to syrup in the log cabin sugar house, to take a taste of the sap direct from the trees and as well as the almost-ready syrup. Guests can savor all of the harbingers of spring on a farm. Demonstrations take place from 12 noon to 5:00 pm.

Special Maple Days

March 10
The Fifth Annual Maple Festival at Sweet Wind Farm in East Hartland will be a busy day with a tree tapping demonstration, maple syrup and sugar making with free syrup samples at the sugar house, a narrated slide show and video, a cooking and recipe class story time for kids, and --almost everyone's favorite activity-- a sugar-on-snow candy making demonstration. Besides the annual Maple Festival the farm will host open house every Saturday in March. Classes and tours are available to groups during sugaring season, call or email to schedule a time. Visit the website for more information at www.sweetwindfarm.net. Either outing will prove to be a worthwhile education for your whole family about a timeless tradition here in New England.

March 10 & 11
At the Open House Maple Festival at the Great Brook Sugar House on Sullivan Farm, guides will escort visitors around the farm to various sites to see demonstrations reflecting a 300-year history of maple sugaring. Syrup and other maple products will be available for purchase. The event takes place Sat. from 10 am to 4pm and Sun. March 11 from 12noon to 4 pm.

March 17
This busiest March weekend is when the New Canaan Nature Center will hold tree-tapping demos, and a maple sap boil down at their Sugar Shack, as well as give a look at historic methods of making maple syrup. Families can also enjoy a delicious Pancake Brunch with maple syrup, join naturalists for a hike along "Maple Lane" to learn tree identification tips, warm up around the campfire to share tall tales, make a Maple craft and take home souvenir treats from a Maple Bake Sale. The event takes place from 10:30 am to 2:00 Pm.

The Institute for American Indian Studies will have a different take on sugaring at its annual festival on the 17th from 11 am- 3 pm. Demonstrations will show how local Native Americans traditionally made maple syrup and its importance to their culture and pancakes made by IAIS staff will be served with local maple syrup from 11 am – 1 pm.

The sweet aroma of boiling sap and syrup will fill the air and samples of fresh syrup will be handed out to guests at the annual Maplefest at the Sharon Audubon Center on March 17th from 10 am – 4 pm.. Guided Tours throughout the day take approximately 45 minutes. Visitors walk down Maple Trail, where they can peek at the sap dripping into the hanging buckets while learning about the tapping and gathering process.  The Sugarhouse is a favorite stop along the tour.  Here, visitors smell the aroma of boiling maple syrup as they watch the sap turn into syrup right in front of their eyes.  The last stop of the tour includes a re-creation of Native American and early Colonial sugaring methods. Fresh maple syrup is available for purchase at the Nature Store.

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