With spring inching its way towards us, the highly anticipated Maine Maple Sunday weekend promises to brighten our spirits and offer the sweetest harbinger of the new season, maple sugaring time. With warmer days and cooler nights, sap begins to flow through the sugar maples that forest the landscape. Out come miles of plastic tubing and taps that capture the golden liquid surging up to feed the new buds.
This annual celebration occurs on the 4th Sunday of March, regardless of how cooperative Mother Nature has been in providing the perfect weather to maximize sap production. This year’s event will take place March 22, 2020. Sugar shacks across the state open their doors to the public offering tours, tastings, demonstrations, and fun activities for the whole family.
Making maple syrup is an arduous task requiring 40 gallons of sap to produce just one gallon of syrup. No wonder maple sugaring season is so celebrated in Maine, the largest producer of maple syrup in the U.S. Most often used as a sweet accompaniment for pancakes and waffles, maple syrup is not just for breakfast anymore. Often a staple in kitchens of cooks across the globe, you’ll find this golden nectar a key ingredient in everything from barbeque sauce to craft cocktails.
There’s no need to wait for Maine Maple Sunday to visit a maple sugar farm. Justin Wood, owner of Sweetwoods Farm, a local Newcastle, Maine enterprise, is offering a guided tour of his family farm on Sunday, March 1, with an alternate date of Sunday, March 8 if weather conditions are poor. Advance reservations are required, but the event is free.
Henhouse Sugaring in nearby Edgecomb, Maine welcomes guests to visit anytime during sugaring season. The sweet aroma of boiling sap that emanates from the sugarhouse evaporator will tantalize your taste buds and inspire you to purchase a pint or two to take home.
If you do plan on visiting for Maine Maple Weekend, check out our local sugar houses. Cafros Maple in Woolrich, Maine, and Goranson’s Farm in Dresden, Maine are good options, along with Sweetwoods Farm and neighboring Henhouse Sugaring. To sample spirits made from maple syrup, visit Chadwick’s Distillery in Pittston, Maine.
The Newcastle Inn is the ideal location for exploring the sugar shacks of coastal Maine during maple sugaring season, or any time you need a little Maine, “The Way Life Should Be.”