Collecting sap on the Barnestown Road in Hope  Photo by Dan Kirchoff
Collecting sap on the Barnestown Road in Hope Photo by Dan Kirchoff
The cold nights and warm days of early spring bring the sap run that produces Maine's maple syrup. The state's maple producers are gearing up for Maine Maple Sunday, observed this year on Sunday, March 27.

Maple producers around the state open the doors of their sugarhouses for the public to see firsthand how 40 gallons of maple sap are turned into just one gallon of Maine maple syrup. Most sugarhouses offer tastings and live demonstrations of how syrup is produced, from tap to table, and other treats and activities. Many sugarhouses will arrange special tours and demonstrations for groups on other days as well - call them to make arrangements.

Midcoast sugarhouses planning to participate in Maple Sunday, according to the Maine Deparment of Agriculture, are listed below (a full statewide list is available at www.getrealmaine.com).

• In Knox County: Freyenhagen's Family Farm, 51 Wotton's Mill Road, Union, 785-4559; Golden Nugget Sugar Shack, 328 Gurney Town Road, Appleton, 785-2518; Maine Gold, 229 Park Street, Rockland, 593-0090; and Rock Maple Acres, 2565 Burkettville Road, Appleton, 845-2865.

• In Lincoln County: Goranson Farm, 250 River Road, Dresden, 737-8834; Ragged Rock Farm, 79 Wiscasset Road, Whitefield, 549-3459; Rice Farms Maple Syrup, 36 Split Rock Road, Wapole, 563-6023; Sproul Homestead, Walpole, 563-5316; and Spruce Bush Farm, 101 Old Madden Road, Jefferson, 549-7448.

• In Waldo County: Kinney's Sugarhouse, 200 Abbott Road, Knox, 568-7576; Heal's Sugar House & Orchard, 144 Heal Road, Lincolnville, 763-3150; Hillcrest Orchards, Winterport, 223-4416; Sugar Mountain Maple Farms, North Palermo Road, Freedom, 993-6070; Wentworth Hill Farms, 1805 Webb Road, Knox, 322-3081; Simmons and Daughters Maple Syrup, 261 Weymouth Road, Morrill, 342-2444; and Winterport Hills Farm, 269 Goshen Road, Winterport, 223-5485.

Camden-Rockport Historical Society Open for Maple Sunday

The Camden-Rockport Historical Society will join the statewide celebration of Maine Maple Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 27. The society operates the Cramer Museum complex and will offer demonstrations of maple syrup making in its 1820s sugarhouse. Free maple syrup ice cream sundaes will be available in the museum, along with maple-flavored donuts.

Society Director Marlene Hall says, "We'll also have an Old Fashioned Taffy Pull - maple flavored, of course - and visitors can try their hand at hand-cranking ice cream."

There'll be free samples of open fire pit cooking - Maynard Stanley's famous chuckwagon beans - and a blacksmithing demonstration in the smithy's shop. People can also try their hand at rope making and hatchet throwing. The Breakers jazz group will entertain. Donations will be gratefully accepted, and the gift shop will be open, with maple products for sale as well as other handcrafted items.

The museum complex is at the Camden-Rockport town line on Route 1. For more information, contact Hall at 594-8047 or e-mail crmuseum@midcoast.com.