FORT ANN, N.Y. — A good luck rain on Friday the 13th meant the sap was flowing for the members of the Upper Hudson Maple Producers Association (UHMPA), who kicked off the season with a special tapping on Friday. Commissioner Richard Ball and Senator Betty Little visited Battle Hill Maple in Fort Ann to help sugarmakers Greg Lapan and Janet Oliver tap their trees.
“I appreciate the efforts of all of our sugarmakers, especially on a day like today. The sap never stops flowing, but you guys are hearty souls,” said Commissioner Ball. “I remember doing this with my grandfather a long time ago. The process looks a little different now, but the result is the same. We have a lot of great producers in our state and in this region, and it’s always a treat to come out and spend time with all of you.”
(Commissioner Richard Ball)
Senator Little, who is retiring at the completion of her current term, was on hand to participate in the tapping. The members of UHMPA also showed their appreciation to Little with a special gift: a commemorative brick in the new Brick Garden that will be built at the Washington County Fairgrounds this summer. The inscription that will be on the brick was read to Little and everyone in attendance.
“Thank you for that, and thank you all for voting for me. I wouldn’t be here to attend all of these things if you all didn’t keep voting for me,” said Little, true to her character, humbly and graciously accepting the group’s recognition.
As soon as Commissioner Ball tapped the tree, the sap started flowing, which was no surprise to the other sugarmakers in attendance, who had left their own operations to be part of the ceremony. Before everyone headed back to the sugarhouse for maple chili and cookies, Greg Lapan asked Senator Little if she wanted to give it a try, and she did.
Given the current circumstances, sugarmakers in the Upper Hudson region have decided to postpone the Maple Weekends that were scheduled for March 21-22 and 28-29. Interested visitors can contact individual farms to see if they are still open and/or selling products. Stay tuned to the website upperhudsonmaple.com for more information about a new date for New York’s Maple Weekends in the Upper Hudson region.
—Upper Hudson Maple Weekend