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March is Maple Month

  • Maple sap drips into a galvanized bucket in the woods off of Stillwater Road in Deerfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Seth Gewanter puts lids on sap buckets in the woods off of Stillwater Road in Deerfield where he was working for Williams Farm. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Seth Gewanter puts lids on sap buckets in the woods off of Stillwater Road in Deerfield where he was working for Williams Farm. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz



Recorder Staff
Friday, March 03, 2017

Maple Month in Massachusetts has officially begun, with many of the state’s more than 300 maple syrup producers getting to work tapping trees, collecting sap and producing syrup.

According to the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association, Gov. Charlie Baker declared March to be Maple Month, leading sugar makers and local officials to celebrate through a ceremony Friday.

Mass. Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux tapped the ceremonial first tree of the season at Steve’s Sugar Shack in Westhampton, and read a proclamation from Baker about Maple Month.

Massachusetts sugar makers have had record production of maple syrup in the last few seasons, making 77,000 gallons in 2016, according to the association. These gains are attributable to more producers setting more taps to collect sap, and to the use of more energy-efficient technologies that reduce costs and labor required for production.

Massachusetts sugarers lead the nation in direct-to-consumer sales, and state producers consistently win awards at the annual international maple contest for their excellent products, according to the association.

A weekend for maple

The season will also be marked by Maple Weekend, March 18-19, when sugarhouses around the state will be open to visitors who want to see syrup being made, learn about the process and history of maple production, and sample and purchase syrup.

Lists of participating sugarhouses and restaurants are available at www.massmaple.org.