Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today encouraged New Yorkers to begin planning for Maple Weekend events this month, which take place across the state on the weekends of March 22 and 23 and also on March 29 and 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. New York currently ranks second nationwide in maple production, accounting for 18 percent of the nations output with 574,000 gallons produced in 2013. Also during the 2013 season, New Yorks maple producers utilized 2.2 million taps, the largest number of taps since 1949.
New York State makes some of the best maple products in the country from maple syrup to maple sugar, Governor Cuomo said. New Yorks homegrown maple industry is a key part of our states agricultural economy. Thats why we are promoting New Yorks Maple Weekend which will give residents and tourists alike the chance to enjoy everything our states maple producers have to offer.
Maple Weekend, which is an annual event put on by the New York State Maple Producers Association, will take place at more than 100 locations statewide. There, maple producers at will show visitors how maple syrup is produced in sugarhouses, going through the process from tree to table, explaining everything from tubing systems to the evaporation process. Depending on the location, pancake breakfasts may be available, as will treats such as maple cotton candy, maple popcorn and maple sugar candy. Admission is free to all Maple Weekend events.
Acting State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, Maple Weekend is a great way for New Yorkers to go out and learn about this hugely important agricultural industry. Maple is not just a product that goes on pancakes anymore. It can now be found in everything from barbecue sauces to various spices to some of the most delicious treats everywhere. Maple is big business here in New York and I look forward to participating in Maple Weekend events during the month of March.
Dwayne Hill, President of the New York State Maple Producers Association, said, Maple syrup is a natural product and the first product of the year. Its important for consumers to come out and see how much hard work goes into making maple syrup. If they see what goes into it, they will see why New York maple syrup is well worth it.
Greg Zimpfer, Owner of Zimpfers Maple Products in Attica, said, This is an opportunity to see that food is something somebody has to make. One of the most common things we hear during Maple Weekend is, Im glad I dont have to make it and I can just buy it. People gain an appreciation for what goes into New York maple syrup.
Larry Rudd, Owner of Rudds Family Maple Syrup in Mannsville, said, We open our sugarhouses and we give tours from the tree to the table. People have a lot of questions. At Maple Weekend, they get answers. They can see it, smell it, taste it, and experience the heritage New York maple syrup has. People get familiar with it.
Harry Komrowski, co-owner, Komrowski Maple in Memphis, said, Theres a huge movement for consumers to buy food locally and Maple Weekend helps them do that very well. We invite people in, and they become believers in the state maple industry. Maple Weekend creates lifelong customers.
Cornell Cooperative Extension has an extensive maple program that works on many different products related to New Yorks maple industry, from forest management to helping maple producers with sap collection and processing, as well as marketing value-added products. During Maple Weekend events at Uihlein Forest in Lake Placid and Arnot Forest in Van Etten, the Cornell Maple program will also be doing taste testing of new syrups made from walnut and birch trees.
For more information on Maple Weekend events throughout New York State, please visit http://www.mapleweekend.com.