Mar 21, 2016
The first leg of Maple Weekend is in the books and many people came out to partake in the festivities.
If you went to Merleâs Maple Farm in Attica, you saw how high-tech the operation can be.
From all the machines and hoses to the tablets and TVs letting farmers know exactly when and where a problem is with the extraction.
âI didnât realize how technical it is,â said Pat Reardon of Lancaster. He and his wife, Amy, made it out to Merleâs with their children after a recommendation from friends to check it out.
âWe came out with the kids to show them how (maple syrup) is made,â he said.
Afterward, at Merleâs, Reardon, his family and others enjoyed the smorgasbord of maple products.
Beyond just maple syrup, there were maple spreads, mapleccinos (iced cappuccinos with maple flavoring), maple cheese, maple barbecue sauce, maple mustard, maple hot sauce, maple jelly, blueberry maple syrup, strawberry maple syrup, maple candied cashews, maple candied walnuts, and the list could go on forever.
Over at Sweet Dream Maple Farm in Corfu, attendees could see a smaller operation as well as get up close and personal to some animals.
Sweet Dreamâs sugar shackâs close quarters gave you a front-row seat to the boiling process.
Al Stein was there fielding questions and giving history lessons about how the maple industry has ebbed and flowed in to major events in American history. For example, did you know that the maple syrup industry largely didnât exist before the Civil War? Or that the industrial revolution caused a decline in maple production?
And, while you were there, you could meet the alpacas, sheep and chickens that live on the property.
These were only two operations in the area. There are a slew of other options visitors were out seeing over the course of the first Maple Weekend.
And the good news is that if you missed out on a farm, youâll have another chance soon.
While the first leg of Maple Weekend is over, thatâs no reason to be discouraged. You have this coming weekend to let that sugar high settle until it all kicks back off again the following weekend.
Maple Weekend will continue on April 2 and 3 where you can get your fix again and hit up any places you missed the first time around.
Joe Leathersich/The Daily News