Vermonters know that spring has arrived when sugaring season starts. Warm days and cold nights mean that maple sap is running, and that means that sugar makers are hard at work. But they're not so busy that they don't want to stop to celebrate!
Vermont maple producers invite you to join them at their sugar houses on March 24 and 25 to sample not only new syrup, but other great ways to get your sweet fix. Activities will be different at each sugar house. Weather permitting you can see first-hand how maple sap is collected and boiled down to make syrup. Some sugar makers offer horse-drawn wagon tours of their sugar bush and some have special activities for children. Others offer maple donuts, pancakes and syrup , maple candies or taffy-like “sugar on snow.”
Because no two sugar houses are the same, it’s fun to visit more than one.
In many locations sugaring started early this year, but with the normal fluctuations in weather, the season may be as long as it normally is. Experienced sugar makers in low lying areas weren’t worried about lack of snow, and sure enough, they were right. Trees are once again producing different grades of sap as the season progresses, with light, fancy grade syrup being produced early, and the darker, more sugar-dense grades being produced through late March.
Vermont has approximately 2000 maple syrup producers and is the largest U.S. producer of maple syrup – with 890,000 gallons of syrup produced in 2010. Vermont maple syrup is 100% natural and contains antioxidants, calcium and other beneficial minerals.