ALBANY — New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball joined the Upper Hudson Maple Producers Association for the ceremonial first maple tapping of the season at Brower Road Sugarhouse, a NYS Grown & Certified maple producer, to promote the New York maple industry and encourage New Yorkers to support local maple producers this season. The event also marked the kickoff to New York’s Maple Weekends events and activities, which are taking place March 19-20 and 26-27, along with other special events and promotions throughout the month of March.
Commissioner Ball said: “Maple season is underway, and the sap is already flowing in many parts of the state. This is the perfect time to visit a local NYS Grown & Certified maple producer, find out more about the syrup-making process, and enjoy some of New York’s sweetest crop. New York’s maple industry contributes tremendously to our local communities and economies, and I encourage everyone to support our maple businesses and participate in Maple Weekends this year.”
Commissioner Ball visited Brower Road Sugarhouse in Gloversville, Fulton County for an annual maple tree tapping to highlight New York’s maple industry and the maple producers participating in the New York State Grown & Certified program. More than 75 maple producers participate in NYS Grown & Certified, which verifies New York’s agricultural producers and growers who adhere to food safety and environmental sustainability standards. Find a current list of maple producers who are a part of the NYS Grown & Certified program at https://certified.ny.gov/wheretobuy.
Jim Deming, Co-owner of Brower Road Sugarhouse, said: “We are pleased to be able to host this event, after the struggles everyone has faced over the past two years due to COVID-19. The maple trees are running and syrup is being made all over New York State. Come join the celebration of spring!”
Throughout the month of March, maple farms across the state are opening their doors to the public to offer tours and pancake breakfasts, sell maple products, and demonstrate the syrup-making process, which includes the traditional system of hanging buckets on trees or more modern methods of production using vacuum systems to increase the yield of sap per tree. Maple Weekends will take place at more than 140 maple farms and museums, boosting agri-tourism across New York State. A searchable list of Maple Weekend events is available at https://mapleweekend.nysmaple.com/.
New York State’s Taste NY markets across the state are offering sampling through a special Maple Madness promotion all month long. Stop by participating markets, sample different products, and fill in a bracket to vote for your favorite New York maple product. Find a list of markets at taste.ny.gov. New Yorkers can also shop for New York State maple from home on shoptasteny.com. Save 10% on orders during March with the code “MapleMadness”.
Helen Thomas, Executive Director of the New York State Maple Producers Association, said: “Maple Weekends are a great time to experience spring and the great outdoors! Bring the family to one of the New York State maple farms listed on mapleweekend.com and experience the smell and taste of freshly produced maple syrup.”
Dave Campbell, President of Upper Hudson Maple Producers Association said, “Maple producers are excited to be able to welcome customers back to the sugarhouse this year after the challenging past couple of years we’ve all faced. This year’s maple season is off to a good start and we already have plenty of syrup and other products available for customers across the state to purchase and enjoy a taste of New York maple.”
Amy Willis, Food Systems Coordinator at Taste NY Broome County/Cornell Cooperative Extension, said: “For the month of March, maple products take the spotlight at Taste NY. From maple lattes to maple milkshakes, Taste NY Broome County is sure to create an experience surrounded in this sugary treat. With over 20 different maple products on the floor, the Taste NY program will continue to remain a top supporter of local maple producers.”
Molly Vigrass, Taste NY Market Manager at the Western NY Welcome Center, said: “One of our favorite seasons at the Taste NY Market at the Western NY Welcome Center is maple season! We are convinced that pancakes were invented to make eating gallons of local, New York State maple syrup socially acceptable. Being that connection between our maple vendors and our customers, we are able to share vendor stories, educate on the maple syrup production process, and create excitement and experiences around these products that make a lasting impact on our customers. The Maple Madness promotion provides more exposure, awareness, and publicity for our vendors and their products during Maple Month, which is a sweet win-win for everyone involved!”
New York State ranks second in the nation for maple production, and is also home to the largest resource of tappable maple trees within the United States and more than 2,000 maple sugar makers. The Department supports the maple industry through the New York State Budget—which includes funding for promotion and educational programs—as well as through investments in research projects, such as Cornell University’s Maple Program’s Arnot Teaching Forest, and through its NYS Grown & Certified marketing program.
–New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets