THURMAN, N.Y. — “We started making syrup in our garage, and it just grew from there,” said Robin Mahler, who runs Mud Street Maple (MSM) with her husband, Jeff. “It started out just making syrup for friends and family members, with 400 buckets, which was a pain! Now we have 1800 taps on 42 acres, use 5/16th tubing with a vacuum pump, spider lifts, and a reverse osmosis (RO) machine.”
MSM is a relatively new addition to the family of producers in the Upper Hudson Maple Producers Association, starting their operation 6 years ago.
“The RO has been great,” Robin explained. “We used to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the sugarshack, and now we only have to boil for 4 to 5 hours and we can be done for the day. I do the marketing, labels, and run the store. Jeff is more in the sugarbush and in the evaporator room.”
MSM started participating in Thurman Maple Days about 4 years ago, after they built their sugarhouse. Robin described how maple producers look out for each other: “[Organizers of the event] forgot to put us on the map, but thankfully a friend with a farm at the end of Mud Street was sending folks our way.”
“There are five maple houses in Thurman, and we’re the newest in the area. We try to be different with what we offer,” Robin reasoned. “We have bourbon-barrel aged maple syrup and infused products. Jeff is a chef, and he likes to change it up a little to keep people interested and coming back. Some of our infused syrups include coffee, blueberry, chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon.”
Robin discussed the importance of supporting others in the area. “We always try to buy local when we can. We get our bourbon barrels from Lake George Distilling Company, and the coffee beans are from the Biscotti Brothers in Lake George Village. They use our syrup for their breakfasts, and they also sell it there for us.”
While Maple Weekends (the last two weekends in March) statewide have been canceled due to Covid-19, many producers in the Upper Hudson Region still plan to welcome anyone who wishes to make the trip out to their operations. “We’ll be open every weekend in March,” said Robin. “Maple season is happening whether you come out or not. Call your nearby maple syrup producer; they may be offering outdoor activities. We’ll have a fire pit with maple s’mores, and people can walk through the sugar bush. We have three different rooms in our sugarhouse; one for processing, the evaporator, and the store where we have products. We’re going to be there, so feel free to pop in and say hi. If you see steam from the sugar house, we’re there. It’s not a massive space, but there’s enough room for 10 people to check things out socially distanced. We’ll definitely be socially distancing, and we have hand sanitizer. We had a couple people that wanted to come through in the fall and didn’t want to come inside, and that’s fine too. We’ll happily do curbside pickup if people prefer. “Our website is our online square store,” said Mahler. “Facebook has the most accurate and up-to-date information about when we’re open or closed or have new products.”
For more information about what MSM has to offer, visit https://mudstmaple.square.site
–Upper Hudson Maple Producers Association
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