Genesee Country Village and Museum Photo
Sap drops from spile tapped into maple tree at Genesee Country Village and Museum, Mumford.
Tap into fun with sweet sign of spring
March may just be the sweetest month in Western New York. Several events in the next two weekends will offer insight into the making of maple syrup. You will even be able to get a tasty sample, or a pancake feast for an additional fee. Other activities are also planned.
More than 130 maple producers, including Sugarbush Hollow in Springwater and Trout Brook Sugarhouse in Honeoye Falls, will be participating in the state’s annual Maple Weekend. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 16, 17, 23 and 24.
Admission is free. Those attending can see how maple syrup and other maple products are produced, along with a chance to taste and purchase maple products. The statewide event is sponsored by the New York State Maple Producers Association.
Sugarbush Hollow, 8447 Pardee Hollow Rd., Wayland, will see a pancake breakfast each day and offer equipment demonstrations, and educational tours and demonstrations. Visitors are also invited to hike the woods.
Owner Chuck Winship is the 2012 recipient of the Charles Hubbell Award in recognition of his work and dedication to the state’s maple industry.
Winship says Maple Weekend offers fun for the whole family. “Enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the products of our pure maple syrup,” he says in a description of his venue posted on the event website.
For more information, go to www.sugarhousesyrup.com or call 943-3475.
Trout Brook Sugarhouse, 296 Taylor Rd., Honeoye Falls, plans sugarhouse demos and tours, syrup tastings, and molded maple sugar samples. Owners Greg and Sheila Keyes say on the Maple Weekend website that they will serve Peter’s Pancake Mix, a custom oatmeal pancake mix. Visitors are also encouraged to take time to visit with the alpacas.
For more information, go to www.troutbrooksugarhouse.com or call 624-5648.
In Wyoming County, 17 maple producers will be participating in Maple Weekend events. For directions and a list of participating locations, visit www.nysmaple.com or www.mapleweekend.com .
Syrup is one of the oldest natural sweeteners and “boiling down” was arguable the only sugar-refining process available to early settlers in the north during the settlement period. On average, it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup, which weighs 11 pounds.
Genesee County Village & Museum, 140 Flint Hill Rd., Mumford, will also celebrate the coming of spring with its annual “Maple Sugar Festival.” The family program focused on the centuries-old process of collecting sap and maple trees and processing it into syrup and sugar runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 16, 17, 23 and 24.
Families can walk the museum trails, visit the Sugar Camp with its log sugar shack, enjoy a taste of syrup, try the historic maple treat “sugar on snow” and see a demonstration of how syrup is processed today.
Each day the museum will be alive with activity at the cooper, blacksmith and tinsmith shops, daily 19th-century-style tree tappings in historic village (noon, 1 and 2 p.m.), hands-on crafts, games, open-hearth cooking with tastings for visitors; demonstrations of candle making, and even the brewing up of some maple beer. The art gallery will show off the museum’s recently acquired collection of antique sugar molds and a display of “Winter Woolies” — how folks fended off the winter cold in the 19th century.
There is also a maple sugar history trail, a Cooking with Maple Contest (deadline 11 a.m. March 23) and a demonstration of American Heritage historic chocolate making with samples of a unique hot chocolate beverage.
Admission to the Maple Sugar Festival is $8.50 for adults and $6.50 for youth. Members and children 3 and younger are admitted free. An all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast with sausage and real maple syrup will be served from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day for an additional charge.
For more information, call 538-6822 or visit www.gcv.org.