What do Spring Skiing and Vermont Maple Syrup have in common?
March, Mother Nature and Warmth we hope, after this winter of lots of snow as well as extreme cold!
During March, spring skiing and Vermont Maple Syrup production will both be at peak. Maple sugaring, as it is called, got off to a late start this year due to the frigid February temperatures. “Tapping” – the craft of inserting a “tap” for the sap to drain – can only occur when temperatures are high enough to prevent permanent damage to the maple tree when the tap’s inserted. Suffice to say, this normally happens around the second week of February but needless to say not this year!
Once the tree is tapped and lines are hooked up to take the maple sap back to the Sugarhouse, all eyes go back to Mother Nature. Temperatures have to warm up during the day for the maple sap to flow and then cool again at night. Farmers love a March with temperatures just above freezing during the day and the best yields occur with consistent spring days and cold nights.
The March days that provide great spring skiing make for a great Vermont maple syrup season.
March Ski Days With Special Deals
- All Thursdays in March: ski Sugarbush’s Mount Ellen for $30
- Wednesday, March 4th: ski Sugarbush for $45 (advance purchase) as part of special promo
- Tuesday, March 17th: ski Mad River Glen wearing green for St Pattys Day for $17
- Tuesday, March 17th, ski Sugarbush’s Mount Ellen for $17
- Wednesday, April 1st: 2 for 1 deal at Mad River Glen
It takes 40 gallons of raw Vermont maple sap to make 1 gallon of pure Vermont Maple Syrup
Where to Find Maple Syrup
Head off the Route 17 or Route 100 into the less travelled roads and chances are you will see the sap lines running from maple tree to maple tree. Check out Bragg Hill Road and Tucker Hill Road if you are curious to see the lines.
The Syrup served at Tucker Hill comes from a farm on Tucker Hill Road. Eastman Long and Sons have farmed the maple trees in this area for decades and tap thousands of trees each year. The easiest way to buy their syrup – you’ll find Easty Long at the corner of Route 17 and Route 100 every Saturday and Sunday with his van and mobile stand.
Buyers Guide to Grade A Pure Vermont Maple Syrup
Golden Color/Delicate Flavor
Usually made at the beginning of the new maple season. Pour over vanilla ice cream for a Vermont maple sundae, sometimes called the Sugarmakers’ Favorite Dessert.
Amber Color/Rich Flavor
(Compares well to the former Medium Amber)
Usually made about mid-season and seems to be the most popular for all around use. A good choice for gifts.
Dark Color/Robust Flavor
(Compares well to the former Grade B)
As the maple season progresses, the syrup darkens in color and develops a more robust maple flavor. Good for all around use, its hearty flavor is a great choice for all kinds of recipes. Pour over baked apples or squash, use as a glaze for meats and vegetables.
Very Dark Color/Strong Flavor
(Even darker than Grade B!)
Produced at the end of the season, it’s perfect for cooking! Makes Vermont baked beans, breads, and cookies especially tasty.
March 28-30, 2015 is the weekend when Sugarhouses welcome visitors throughout the State. Visit VermontMaple.org for full list of activities and open houses.