Vermont Maple Syrup – Sugaring Season
Annual Spring Vermont Maple Syrup Harvest Tradition
It’s just plain sweeter here in Vermont! And that is especially true during maple sugaring season – just ask any Vermont Maple Sugar Maker. Vermont’s maple trees herald the sounds of a sugaring new season, drip by drip. The maple trees are responding to nature and the sap begins to flow – when it does a wise Vermont Maple Producer knows to have his buckets ready and his lines all drawn and closed. Ask us about Made in Vermont Product or share comments. To feature your Made in Vermont products, contact us.
Vermont Products: Maple Syrup
Robb Family Farm, 827 Ames Hill Road, Brattleboro, VT 05301
Home of fine Vermont crafts. We produce the purest maple syrup you can find as well as a large assortment of fine hand-crafted treasures. Enjoy the scenic Vermont landscape from the bac of a horse-drawn wagon or sleigh. The country Shop is a family run business, consisting of a charming gift shop, farm events, mail order and baked goods by order. The shop is open throughout the year from it's annual Valentine Sweetheart Hayride until Christmas.
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Green Mountain Sugar House, Rte 100N, Box 820, Ludlow, Vermont 05149
Our award winning maple candy is still being made and shipped daily along with our 100 % pure maple syrup. When you see the steam roll from the Green Mountain Sugar House, stop in and have a taste of the sweetest stuff on earth. Our red roofed sugar house, just steps away from the water's edge, is where we make everything from maple syrup to mouth-watering maple fudge. It's also a Vermont country gift shop. Make the Green Mountain Sugar House a planned stop whenever you're in the area... you'll be glad you did! Order online
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Sugarbush Farm, 591 Sugarbush Farm Road, Woodstock, VT 05091
Sugarbush Farm is located on a 550 acre hilltop outside of Woodstock Village. Visitors watch cheese production, year round maple tours, sample Sugarbush Farm cheeses and other Vermont products, including; Maple Products and Honey. You can walk the nature trail, see farm animals, and best of all free admission. The farm is located 3 miles off US Route 4 on Hillside Road, across from the Taftsville Bridge, 3 miles east of Woodstock. The Farm Store is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
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The production of Vermont maple syrup and other maple products is a thriving tradition that signals the arrival of spring. The sweet scent of boiling maple sap escaping area sugar shacks is just one of the many reasons visitors travel from around the world to experience springtime in Vermont!
The maple sugaring season usually begins in late February or early March in southern Vermont, and a little later in the northern part of the state. In order for the sap to flow, sugarmakers need a consistent period of warm, sunny days and cold nights.
Vermont has quite a few seasoned sugarmakers out there. After all, Vermont produces more maple products than any other state. Over 350,000 gallons of maple syrup is produced here each year.
History of Maple Sugar and Maple Syrup
The first people to make maple sugar were the Native American tribes of the Northeast, who used it as a flavoring for breads, stews, teas, and vegetables. Native Americans also traded maple sugar for other products they needed. The French and English colonists were delighted with the taste of maple sugar, and eventually they learned the process of making it from the Native Americans. Maple sugar became the principal sweetener in North America. (Native Americans and colonists could not store maple syrup easily, so they used the dry form.) When cane sugar was introduced, New Englanders still preferred maple sugar because it was much cheaper and did not involve West Indian slave labor.
Once a staple of American life, the sweet products of the maple tree are now specialty items. Over the years, the price of cane sugar fell dramatically, and now cane sugar is the variety most Americans use every day. The popularity of maple syrup keeps Vermont sugarhouses going. As anyone who has ever tasted it knows, genuine maple syrup has a taste and texture that the imitations just cannot match. (In Quebec, cheap imitation maple syrup is called “sirop de poteau” or “pole syrup”, suggesting that it was made by tapping telephone poles. We couldn’t agree more.)
Maple Syrup Production
Many maple sugarmakers now use plastic pipelines and boil down the sap in modern stainless evaporators, but some still gather and boil the old fashioned way, with horse-drawn wagons and wood-fired evaporators. Steam rising from sugar shacks is a welcome sign of spring to come.
For more information about the history and production of maple products, visit our History and Production page.
Vermont Maple Events
During the first weekend of spring each year, sugarhouses around Vermont open their doors so visitors can see how real maple syrup is made. The Vermont Maple Open House Weekend is an unforgettable event for the whole family. Few can resist the aroma of boiling sap and the taste of fresh maple syrup. Vermont Open House Weekend is a great opportunity to try some traditional maple treats. Drizzle warm maple syrup over ice cream, or have cider donuts with your syrup. You can also try old-fashioned sugar on snow or maybe even a “sweet and sour” (maple syrup followed by a bite of pickle).
In April, Vermonters celebrate the end of the sugaring season with the Vermont Maple Festival in St. Albans. This annual event features specialty foods, cooking demonstrations, fiddlers, antiques, crafts, a carnival, a huge parade, and much more. More than 50,000 people attend every year!
Don’t forget to bring plenty of Vermont maple products home with you. Real Vermont maple syrup and maple candy make great gifts for friends, family, and, of course, yourself!