By Analiese Paik
It’s that time again, the magical season for maple sugaring that runs from the beginning of February until the end of March in New England. Since maple syrup is produced only in northeastern North America, this is a great opportunity to experience the uniqueness of winter farming. Events at farms and land trusts from Greenwich to Redding aim to educate, so choose the level of involvement that’s right for you. Whether you visit a sugarhouse to watch sap being boiled down into syrup – 40 to 50 gallons per gallon of syrup – or drive spiles into trees to hang collection buckets, you’ll learn to love the ancient art of making syrup from the sap of maple trees.
If you’d like to learn to tap your own trees, please read our feature article, Tapping Mother Nature, about Tap My Trees.
Greenwich Land Trust Hosts Maple Tapping & Winter Walk
Tuesday, March 3 from 1:00-3:00 pm
Take a winter nature walk with the Greenwich Land Trust’s stewardship staff through one of GLT’s forest preserves on Tuesday, March 3rd from 1:00-3:00PM. See a maple tapping and syrup boiling demonstration and learn what goes into making the sweet stuff! The process of maple tapping is indigenous to our northern forests and an important part of our local history. During this time of year, the forest is just waking up from a long slumber and we’ll talk about the clever ways plants and wildlife survive the winter.
The event will take place at The American Chestnut Sanctuary (Across from 18 Burning Tree Road) in Greenwich, CT. Walking conditions are moderate difficulty with minimal uneven terrain. The price is $25 for non-members and $15 for members. Children under 12 are free.
To register for this event and find out more information, visit www.gltrust.org.
The Greenwich Land Trust, founded in 1976, is a 501c3 non-profit organization and nationally accredited land trust dedicated to maintaining 741 acres of land in Greenwich, CT – to protect the environmental health of our community, preserve its natural beauty and conserve its waterways, forests and wildlife for this and future generations. To learn more, please visit www.gltrust.org
New Canaan Nature Center
Boil Down Fridays and Saturdays
Friday, February 20,from 10-2 pm and each Friday through the end of the season
Saturday, February 21 and 28, from 10-2 pm
Friday, March 6, Boil Down Under the Stars from 6:30-8:00
Have you ever wondered where Maple Syrup comes from? Meet the NCNC Naturalists out at our Sugar Shack to learn how we make our very own Maple Syrup! Learn about the history of this New England tradition, what syrup grades really mean, what causes sap to flow in winter. Boil Down Fridays and Saturdays are a drop-in program open FREE to the public and appropriate for all ages. Visit their website for more information.
Ambler Farm, Wilton (follows organic practices)
Open House on two Saturdays in March, dates TBA.
Come experience a New England tradition: turning sap into syrup! Kids and families will have an opportunity to tap a tree, take the maple syrup taste test, and more! This event is free and open to the public. Bottles of Ambler Farm’s estate maple syrup will be available for sale.
257 Hurlbutt Street Wilton, CT 06897-2708
Warrup’s Farm, Redding (Certified Organic)
Free maple sugaring demonstrations from noon until 5 pm during the first three weekends in March
John Read Road, Redding, CT,
1.2 miles north of Redding Center, off Route 107
Each of the first three weekends in March, owner Bill Hill treats guests to a free lesson as he keeps a close eye on the wood-fired cooker, taking care not to let the syrup overcook. Visitors are welcome to watch the process, ask questions, and have a taste. Maple syrup and maple candies will be available for sale. It’s best to visit Warrup’s website for any schedule updates or call 203-938-9403 to plan your visit.
Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Maple Sugar Festival Weekend
Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8, 2015
11:00 am-3:00 pm
$5 admission for members/$10 non-members
children 3 and under are free
39 Scofieldtown Road, Stamford CT 06903
Visit the little red sugarhouse on Heckscher Farm and see firsthand how sap is turned into sweet maple syrup. Witness how trees are tapped and sap is collected, make a maple-themed craft, go on a scavenger hunt, have your face painted and more.
On Saturday, watch teen chefs create delicious dishes using SM&NC maple syrup and vote for your favorite in the First County Bank Teen Chefs Challenge from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm. On Sunday, enjoy the popular pancake brunch from 11 am to 2 pm. Don’t forget to purchase a pint of fresh maple syrup, made from the trees at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center.
Daily Admission Fees:
Members: $5 per person | Non-Members: $10 per person
Family Plus Members: and above levels and all children 3 & under: FREE
Pancake Brunch (SUNDAY only, 11am – 2pm) Additional $5 fee.
Tickets for the event and brunch are available for online purchase here.