Saturday, November 29, 2008

Asian Beetle Spells Death for Maples So Dear

Stephan Savoia/Associated Press / In Worcester, Mass., a Department of Agriculture worker scours the trees for the insects that have taken hold there in part because of a lack of tree diversity.

Asian Beetle Spells Death for Maples So Dear
Published: November 28, 2008
The New York Times
A number of maple trees in Worcester, Mass., will be chopped down because of an infestation of Asian long-horned beetles that is plaguing thousands of trees.

Read it all here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Randall B. Heiligmann Tells All

Instructions for making maple syrup are especially detailed on this fact sheet from Ohio State University Extension (that's a spout inserted into a maple tree, at left).

"If you have access to a few maple trees, whether growing in your yard or in a woodland, you can produce your own maple syrup and even enough extra to use as gifts for family or friends. It's easy, great fun, and a very educational family activity," Heiligmann writes -- and then tells exactly how to do it!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Vermont Maple Festival Cookbook

This year's Vermont Maple Festival is history...but there's always the Vermont Maple Festival Cookbook.

The latest edition is chock full of recipes for Main Dishes, Salads, Desserts, Breads, Sauces, Preserves and Dressings, Vegetables, Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Candies, Desserts and more. The book is illustrated with photos from maple country, and the Vermont Maple Festival.

Go online and order one at $13 plus $40 shipping and handling.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Maple Heritage Museum

Wheelers Maple Heritage Museum is located in MacDonald Corners, Ontario, Canada. Housed in a dove-tail log building with a cathedral pine rafter ceiling, the museum boasts 2000 square feet of exhibit space and an extensive collection of all things maple (including sugar molds, sap buckets, production equipment and tools). For more information, see the website or call 613:278-2090.

Festival of the Maples in Perth, Ontario

Perth, "in the heart of maple syrup country in Eastern Ontario", holds its annual Festival of the Maples on the last Saturday in April (this year, that's 26 April).

Not One, but Two Pancake Breakfasts!

The 11th annual Maple Syrup Festival takes place in Powassan, Ontario, Canada, on 26 April.

Two pancake breakfasts are scheduled to start at 7 a.m. that day: one at St. Mary's Anglican Church and the other at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church.

Main Street will be filled with activities until 4 p.m.: sheep shearing, wool spilling, Scottish Heavy Events demos, antique car displays, West Coast Lumberjack show...and more. Of course, there'll be tours to the sugar bush!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Quatrain by Jordan Webb

Drill the holes and gather the sap.
12 pm, the time to set the fire.
Afternoon, we poured the syrup and placed the caps.
Work done we now retire.

Friday, March 28, 2008

No, That Other Site Isn't Mine!

We've got a doppelganger!

Check out the Canadian site, It's full of maple syrup products!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Vermontville Maple Syrup Festival

The Vermontville (Michigan) Maple Syrup Festival starts at 10 a.m. 25 April with an arts and crafts show plus a flea market hosted by the Vermontville Woman's Club. It continues through the afternoon of 27 April, with a princess contest and egg toss that day.

In between are pancake breakfasts, BBQ chicken and roast beef dinners, a petting zoo and trolley rides. Oh, and yeah, there'll be lots of maple syrup! The tree is somewhat of an icon in the area, witness performances by the Maple Valley High School Choir.

Vermontville, a village west of Lansing, Michigan, was established in 1836. It boasts a population of 793 within its one-square-mile boundaries.

Monday, March 10, 2008

New Hampshire Maple Sugar Weekend

Consider a trip to New Hampshire on the weekend of 29-30 March. More than 140 sugarhouses will be open throughout the state. The New Hampshire Maple Producers Association has details, location maps and links to its members on its website, or call the Maple Hotline at 603:225-3757.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Geauga County Maple Festival

It's back for 2008, and bigger than ever, say the organizers of the annual Maple Festival in Geauga County, Ohio. Bathtub races, queen contest, a parade, carnival rides, pancake breakfasts (of course!), syrup and candy contests, tug-of-war and a battle of the bands are on the agenda for 27-30 March in Chardon, Ohio.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Maple Festivals in the Litchfield Hills

In the scenic Litchfield Hills of Connecticut, the crackling fires and boiling kettles of maple syrup are a tradition, the first happy sign that winter is on the way out. Visitors of all ages are welcome to visit the many sugar shacks on farms and nature centers in this maple-rich region, where fragrant syrup making is in full swing in March. Demonstrations will show the ways it has been done from Native American times to the present.

The newest sugarhouse in the area, Sweet Wind Farm in East Hartland, invites the whole family to their Maple Festival on 8 March from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The day will feature maple syrup and sugar making demonstrations, sugarhouse tours, a narrated slide show, a recipe class and story time for kids. Free coffee and syrup samples will be available for all.

Free Open House Maple Days on most Saturdays through early April also will allow visitors to come in and watch the process, ask questions and enjoy the sweet syrup scents. Though their super-modern facility was built in 2005, the Case family has been making maple syrup for over 30 years in Granby. The modern equipment in the new facility makes for high quality syrup as well as products such as maple sugar and lollipops, all for sale.

Lamothe's Sugar House in Burlington, one of the largest operations in the region with some 4,000 taps, is also offering free tours on their farm every Saturday and Sunday until the end of March. Visitors will see how maple syrup and sugar are made and enjoy samples of syrup, maple farmhouse coffee, and hot apple cider. The Lamothes also raises golden retrievers and lop-eared bunnies and children can see the adorable pups and bunnies.

Another chance to see maple syrup being made during the first three weekends in March is at Warrup’s Farm in Redding, an organic farm operated by the same family since the 1840s. A tour shows how the sap comes out of the trees, how it is taken to the storage tank, and then boiled down in the evaporator. Pure maple syrup and maple sugar can be purchased to take home.

Three ways of syrup making, past to present can be seen at the Great Brook Sugarhouse on Sullivan Farm in New Milford on 17 and 18 March. The Colonial and Civil War eras and the most high-tech modern techniques will be shown.

The Native American way of making maple syrup (pictured at left) will be demonstrated at the Algonkian Village at the Institute for Indian Study in Washington on 15 March, with staff members serving pancakes topped with local maple syrup. There will be games and crafts for the children.

The new Sugar House of the Flanders Nature Center in Woodbury is another opportunity to stand by the roaring wood stove on March weekends and watch the sap cook down into syrup. Demonstrations by staff and volunteers will bring the history, science, and humor of maple syrup production to life. Flanders' maple syrup and other maple products will be available for purchase.

Guided tours at the Sharon Audubon Center all day at the annual Maple Fest on 15 March will include the Center’s working sugarhouse. Samples of the freshly made syrup are handed out to guests. Syrup can be bought at the Center's Nature Store.

For a free brochure listing all Connecticut sugar houses, more information on winter activities, and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the Litchfield Hills, contact the Northwest Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, 860:567-4506.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Indian Lake State Park Maple Syrup Festival

The 23rd annual Maple Syrup Festival will be held at the Indian Lake State Park Campground, 13156 North State Route 235, Lakeview, Ohio, on 15 and 16 March. It's sponsored by the park, in conjunction with the Indian Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and the Indian Lake Development Corporation.

On the schedule are a pancake breakfast (of course!), sugar bush tours, syrup-making demonstrations -- and dulcimer music!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

There's Sugaring in the Hocking Hills

"Maple Sugaring in the Hills" is set for noon to 4 p.m. 8 and 9 March in Hocking Hills State Park, southeastern Ohio. Head for the Naturalist Cabin, located behind the Old Man’s Cave Visitor Center. There is a pancake breakfast at the Hocking Hills State Park lodge the days of the festival. And believe it or not, they even serve local syrup on those pancakes!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Maple Syrup Time at the Indiana Dunes

Maple Sugar Time is one of the most popular seasons at historic Chellberg Farm, part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

In the 1870s, Swedish immigrants Anders and Johanna "Kjellberg" bought 80 acres in Porter County, Indiana, to establish a farm. They were the first of three generations of the Chellberg Family to make their living here. In the 1930s, the Chellbergs started to tap the many maple trees on their property for the production of maple syrup.

The 30th Annual Maple Sugar Time Festival 1, 2 and 8, 9 March features the evolution of "maple sugaring" in Northwest Indiana from an early American Indian method, to the pioneer method of boiling sap in open iron kettles, to the relatively modern and commercial method of producing syrup much the way the Chellberg family did.

The festival grounds will be open 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. each day Ranger-led tours will be offered from 10 a.m. - noon. At noon, the guided tours are replaced by a self-guided interpreted tour route with uniformed rangers and volunteers stationed at stops along the way. All tours start behind the Bailly/Chellberg Visitor Center and end near the Chellberg Farmhouse.

At the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center, view the films "Visit to a Maple Sugar Farm" and "Maple Sugar Farmer" shown at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. All will add to your sugaring experience.

The Chesterton Lions Club will serve pancakes topped with pure maple syrup from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Bottled syrup will be available for sale at the visitor centers.

Admission to the Festival is free.

The Bailly/Chellberg Area is located on Mineral Springs Road between Highways 20 and 12, about 2 miles west of Highway 49. For more information about this and other programs, contact the visitor center at 219:926-7561, ext. 225.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunderland Maple Syrup Festival

Head to Ontario 29 and 30 March for the 13th annual Sunderland Maple Syrup Festival. There'll be the expected (tours of sugar shacks -- including the one pictured), a bed race and carnival rides), but also the unexpected (performances by the Outback Cloggers). New this year is an arts & crafts show. Read all about it here!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival

There's everything you could ever want at the Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival, 18 and 19 April in Wakarusa, Indiana.

Maple syrup baking contest? Check! Five K run? Check! Cross cut saw contest? Check! Tractor pulls, helicopter rides, book sale? Check! Check! Check!

Head to rural northeast Indiana and enjoy the season!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Maple Syrup -- and More -- at March Festival

The annual Maple Syrup Festival in Pickens, West Virginia, is held the third full weekend in March -- this year it's 15-16 March.

Not only are there pancakes (of course), but also tours of a syrup camp, arts & crafts, a quilt show and sale, 5K run, square dance, soap-making (and more).

For details, check the website or call Kim Dulaney at 304:924-5096.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Shepherd Maple Festival Celebrates 50 Years

The Fiftieth annual Maple Festival in Shepherd, Michigan, takes place 25, 26, and 27 April. (Every 50th pancake dinner will be free!) "Never did we dream back in 1958 when we made about 100 gallons of maple syrup and served a few hundred meals at our first one-day festival that we would grow to processing 12,000 meals at a three-day festival," notes the information on the festival.

The 2008 schedule of events includes not only the pancakes, but museum tours, sugar bush visits, a parade, pony rides, tractor pulls, amusement rides and an arts & crafts show.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Trees are Tapped!

All we need now is for the sap to start flowing again! Come on, sunshine!

Monday, February 11, 2008

National Maple Syrup Festival

Where else can you find maple syrup from "each and every maple syrup producing state in America" than at the National Maple Syrup Festival!

Held, somewhat improbably, at Burton’s Maplewood Farm in the rolling hills of Southern Indiana on the first and second weekends in March every year, the festival offers up hot pancakes served with 100% pure Maple Syrup all day every day on 1, 2, 8 and 9 March 2008.

The festival is two miles north of Medora, Ind., and includes music, activities and syruping demonstrations. All the details are right here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Elmvale Maple Festival

Every year the sleepy town of Elmvale explodes in a celebration of Nature's rites of Spring - the running of liquid gold - Ontario Pure Maple Syrup. (This year, it'll all take place on 19 April!) In addition to sugarshacks filled with bubbling goodness and a pancake restaurant (open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.) where your flapjacks will be drenched in maple, you'll find carnival rides, crafts, quilts and other diversions. Check it all out here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Maple Syrup Festival in Mansfield, Ohio

Malabar Farm State Park in Mansfield, Ohio, is the setting for an annual Maple Syrup Festival. This year, it's from noon to 4 p.m. 1, 2, 8 and 9 March. There's no admission charge. There'll be demonstrations of sugaring techniques over the centuries, and a self-guided tour of the sugar camp -- with free samples at the sugar house. Ohio maple syrup, maple walnut fudge, maple cotton candy, maple popcorn and more will be for sale in the Malabar Farm Gift Shop throughout the season.