Our annual kickoff event was held on March 5. See below for photos and a press release.
The Old Deerfield Town Crier reads a proclamation from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, declaring March to be Maple Month.
MDAR Commissioner Scott Soares taps the ceremonial first tree of the season.
2010 Press Coverage of Maple Season in MA
Season Taps into Trees' Sweetness, 3/5, CBS3
Maple syrup season short, sweet, 3/6, Springfield Republican Sugarhouse kicks off sugaring season, 3/5, WWLP
Pomeroy Sugar House Open for Business, 2/21, WGGB
March is Maple Month, 3/9, The Green Blog (Boston.com)
Savoring the flavor of Maple Month, 3/11, Commonwealth Conversations: The Great Outdoors
February 22, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Winton Pitcoff, 413-628-3912, firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, March 5, 2010, 10:00 a.m.
Williams Farm Sugarhouse, Deerfield, MA
The annual kick-off event for maple sugaring season in Massachusetts will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, March 5 at Williams Farm Sugarhouse in Deerfield, MA. Ed Parker, president of the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association will welcome attendees, and Scott Soares, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) will tap the ceremonial first tree. A proclamation by Governor Patrick, declaring March to be 'Maple Month' in Massachusetts will be read. Other local officials will be on hand as well, to celebrate the beginning of the maple season.
While sugaring season is weather dependent -- nights must be below freezing and days warmer than freezing for the sap to flow -- the start of March traditionally heralds the beginning of the season, with sugarmakers putting out taps to be ready for the first drops.
More than 300 Massachusetts maple producers annually produce about 50,000 gallons of maple syrup worth almost $3 million. The industry employs more than 1,000 workers, and approximately 60,000 tourists spend over $1.5 million during the sugaring season at maple farms as well as restaurants, bed-and-breakfasts, country inns, and other attractions in farm communities. The income from maple sugaring is a key factor in the solvency of many dairy farms, according to DAR, and the industry preserves over 8,000 acres of Massachusetts woodlands. Of the 11 major maple producing states in the US, Massachusetts ranks eighth.
Refreshments will be available at the event, and the Williams Farm Sugarhouse Restaurant will be open to the public for breakfast. Williams Farm Sugarhouse is at 477 Greenfield Rd (Rtes. 5 & 10, 1/4 mile south of Historic Deerfield).