(Maine Maple Producers Association photo)
(Maine Maple Producers Association photo)
This year’s syrup season is off to a fairly slow start because March hasn’t produced ideal sap-running temperatures — 40- to 45-degree daytime highs, followed by overnight temperatures in the mid-20s. Nevertheless, this Sunday, March 24, on Maine Maple Sunday — always held on the fourth Sunday in March — syrup producers across the state will open their sugarhouses to the public. Nearly 100 participating sugarhouses will be hosting different activities, such as tours of the sap lines and demonstrations of sap boiling, as well as tastes of all things maple. Many sugarhouses will be open on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. For a map and list of participating sugarhouses, go to mainemapleproducers.com.
According to the Maine Maple Producers Association, Somerset County in Maine is the largest maple syrup producing county in the U.S. Maine makes more than 575,000 gallons of syrup annually.
Maine Maple Producers Association’s new website — www.mainemapleproducers.com — has recipes using Maine’s maple syrup, ranging from traditional favorites like old-fashioned baked beans and sugar on snow to elegant maple custard. UMaine Extension offers bulletins and videos on how to tap Maple trees and make syrup — go to eposweb-413.sequoiars.com, call 581-3188 or email extension@maine.edu.