End of winter brings end to maple sugar season

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March 19, 2012, 6:39 pm
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(NECN: Melissa Toupin) - The last few drops of sap are collecting at Warren Farm in North Brookfield, Mass.

Owner Janice Wentworth says the central Massachusetts farm had their last boil this past weekend bringing an end to the maple sugaring season.

“Florida weather now, that’s it for the sap in this region.”    

State-wide, farmers are usually able to tap the trees and collect sap from late February to early April.

Wentworth, who has owned the farm with her husband for nearly 15 years, says it's not unusual for her trees to run dry by mid-March.

She says this season got off to an early start thanks to the mild winter, adding two-and-a-half weeks to the season.

“Warm weather made trees break, sap run.”

It takes upwards of 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple sugar.

An average crop yields several hundred gallons.

Warren farm tapped 450 trees this year, which were 250 short of where they wanted to be.

“Because it warmed up so fast, we had to stop putting up taps to boil it down.”

Wentworth says the maple harvest relies heavily on Mother Nature.

Freezing nights and warm days produce the most sap.

The farm was happy with this year’s results.

“Fairly good crop. Lot of medium/ dark. Just got in good batch of grade b which a lot of people look for.”

It's good news for the farm, which depends on the sales of the maple syrups they produce.

Wentworth says they are now looking towards tapping into the events and tours they hold, which have been drawing larger than usual crowds.

“New Englanders are hardy. Bad weather doesn’t chase them away. Good weather brings them out.”

Tags: season, winter , maple sugar, Melissa Toupin, North Brookfield, massachuestts, new englanders, weather stories, warren farm, tap, janice wentworth
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