County sugarmakers gear up for Vermont Maple Open House Weekend
VERMONT — The annual Vermont Maple Open House Weekend will be held at sugarhouses throughout Vermont this Saturday and Sunday. The weekend is a celebration of the maple syrup season in Vermont and an opportunity for people of all ages to visit one or more sugarhouses throughout the state to learn about maple sugaring in Vermont.
“Maple sugaring is a rich part of Vermont’s identity and heritage,” said Betty Ann Lockhart, author of the book “Maple Sugarin’ in Vermont” and member of the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers’ Association. “The Maple Open House Weekend is a quintessential Vermont event that celebrates this timeless tradition.”
Some sugarhouses offer tours of their sugarbushes and many have special activities for families. No two sugarhouses are the same so people are encouraged to visit more than one.
Vermont is the largest U.S. producer of maple syrup and produced over a million gallons of syrup in 2011. There are approximately 2,000 maple producers in Vermont.
Information about all of the participating maple syrup producers, including which of the two days they will be open and directions to their sugarhouses, can be found on www.vermontmaple.org
Although many Addison County sugaring operations were wrapping up their season or had finished this week, local sugarmakers said they are planning to save sap or buy extra to put in the boiler for this weekend’s maple open house events, happening around the county.
Downtown Bristol will host its Maple Magic celebration this Saturday, which features a Maple Walk, shopping specials and discounts in Bristol stores and maple items available at Bristol eateries. On the Maple Walk, businesses will offer customers a free maple treat from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or until the treats are gone. Each business participating in the Maple Walk will have a special “Maple Stop” sign in its window.
The Hannaford Career Center’s new sugarhouse will be open on Sunday only. It is at 922 Lemon Fair Road, Weybridge.
Nine other operations around the county will be welcoming the public to their sugarhouses this weekend for samples, pancake breakfasts and demonstrations. Hours for the open sugarhouses vary; head here for more information.
Bread Loaf View Farm, 564 Cider Mill Road, Cornwall, 802-373-7000.
Dakin Farm, 5797 Route 7, Ferrisburgh, 802-993-2546.
Hillsboro Sugarworks, Mountainside Lane, Starksboro, 802-453-5462.
Preston Family Sugarworks, 3190 Jersey St., Panton, 802-373-0179.
Redrock Valley Maple Farm, 160 Sugarhouse Lane, Starksboro, 802-434-2858.
Shaker Hill Sugarworks, 780 Shaker Hill Road, Starksboro, 802-434-2333.
Solar Sweet Maple Farm, 3841 South Lincoln Road, Lincoln, 802-453-6063.
Vermont Trade Winds Farm, 1639 Route 74, Shoreham, 802-897-2448.
Whitney Sweet Water Maple Farm, 2433 Boro Hill Road, Box 114, Monkton, 802-453-7442.