How Sweet It Is!
- Visit North Central
- Posted on March 12, 2021
March is such a complicated month in New England. Is it still winter? Or has spring finally arrived?
Forget the differences between astronomical and meteorological seasons. In North Central Massachusetts, we call this Maple Season!
And it’s a great time to trek out to local farms to enjoy the sweetest taste on this planet. The cold nights and warming days of early March have set the sap running, and maple producers are keeping busy boiling that clear liquid into precious amber syrup.
It’s time to marvel at the clouds of steam, see the transformation from sap into syrup, and, at many sugarhouses, delight in a taste of that syrup as it quickly cools and thickens atop a bowl of sterling white snow.
For the producers, large and small, across the region, Maple Season is more than a drop in the economic bucket … and many Massachusetts sugarhouses are rolling out the red carpet this month for visitors to watch the magical process, learn about the science of maple production, and, of course, enjoy the end product!
According to the Mass. Department of Agricultural Resources, there are over 300 maple syrup producers in the state. Together, produce over 70,000 gallons of maple products and generate over $5 million in the farm economy — so it’s no surprise that the governor has designated March as “Maple Month.”
Although the Department of Agriculture says that Maple Weekend will officially be held March 20-21 across the state, some local producers began welcoming visitors on March 8 and will be opening their doors each weekend until the sap stops running.
Here are some local sugarhouses to visit:
Hollis Hills Farm, 340 Marshall Rd., Fitchburg. The sugarhouse is open from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturdays. You can also enjoy a grab n go breakfast and visit the farm animals while you’re there!
Sweet Water Sugarhouse, 56 Brown Rd., Royalston. Take a stroll through the woods and see how their gravity fed tubing lines collect the sap, then taste the results!
Big Head Fred’s, 417 Flat Hill Rd. Lunenburg. The sugarhouse will be open on Maple Weekend, Saturday, March 20, 11 am – 4 pm and Sunday, March 21, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Tours, demonstrations, tastings, and sugar on snow.
A list of Massachusetts sugarhouses participating in Maple Weekend can be found at www.massmaple.org