In New England, March loves to tease. Birds chirp, the ground softens, and puddles grow. But as the sun goes down, cold breezes remind us winter still has one foot in the door. In the city, these oscillations lead to treacherous sidewalk slush, but in the woods they set the stage for a steamy sweet season of sugaring. I’m sure you’ve enjoyed warm maple syrup over Saturday pancakes, and maybe you’ve even purchased it from a local purveyor. But have you ever experienced the sweet smell of maple steam, billowing out of a sugarhouse, nestled in picturesque New England woods?
Whether you’re crazy about syrup or just interested in knowing where your food comes from, this upcoming sugaring season brings a delightful array of delicious and educational events for our New England-based pickers. Did you know maple syrup is only produced in northeastern North America and is thus truly a local specialty? Did you know maple syrup naturally contains beneficial antioxidants and less calories than most common sweetners? On March 23rd and 24th, Vermont and New Hampshire will open their sugarhouses to the public for a weekend-long open house extravaganza. On the ever-informative website of the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association, you can search for sugar houses participating in the open house, sort by location, and plan your weekend itinerary. You can do the same on the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association website. Not only will you be able to try some of the freshest syrup in the country but you’ll also have the treat of learning from the pros!
Not convinced it’s worth your time or already booked the weekend of the 23rd? Check out the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association website. Established in 1893, they’re one of the oldest agricultural organizations in the United States, and their website is a detailed catalogue of all you need to know about maple syrup production and history, event listings, and nutritional information. If you’re just in the mood for procuring fine maple products, Tonewood has an exceptional array and an innovative new program that allows you to get one step closer to the production process by adopting a tree! Once you’re done perusing their site, we bet you’ll be jumping to make your next pickin a maple one…
…and when you DO snap the perfect shot of bubbling syrup or sweet maple candies, we’ve got our fingers crossed we’ll be the first you share it with!