Sugaring season is in full swing in Thurman, the little town with a big maple industry. In a region where historically more families than not tapped sugar maples to make syrup for pancakes and sugar for baking, late winter is a time of intensive labor. Maple producers trek into the sugarbushes, often on snowshoes, to drill holes, set taps and run or repair lines to carry sap to the sugarhouses for boiling and processing into a multitude of sweet treats.
Beginning March 15 and 16, continuing Saturdays and Sundays through March 30, four Thurman maple producers will open their sugarhouses to show how this age-old tradition is practiced with the help of technological advancements. Each weekend offers tours of four maple operations – Adirondack Gold, Valley Road, Hidden Hollow and Toad Hill maple farms, all offering tours of sugarbushes and sugarhouses, with demonstrations and talks about tapping, evaporating, filtering and candy-making. Expect some wonderful samples and great shopping for an expanded inventory of maple treats. Also hosting will be Martin’s Lumber & Certified Tree Farm—featuring handsome maple slabs and Lucyann’s craft specialties, all with demonstrations. Peru Llama Farm offers llama kisses, kids’ games and author-signed books. Nettle Meadow Farm offers cheese tasting (check out the maple walnut!) and, weather permitting, hourly tours. Activities at all sites run 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. Valley Road Maple Farm opens an hour early each day, serving pancakes and Oscar’s sausages from 9 till 1. Read more and download the brochure and map at www.ThurmanMapleDays.com. Be sure to take a camera and email your best shots to Info@ThurmanMapleDays.com for future event publicity.
On Saturday, March 15, plan to attend the Thurman Maple Sugar Party, at town hall, beginning at 4 p.m. and continuing until all are served. Hod Ovitt and The Warren County Ramblers will entertain with rollicking mountain music while guests enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet topped off with dessert of old-fashioned jack wax. Tickets, available at the door, are $10 for adults, $5 for kids 6-11, and free for those 5 and under. This event has been raising money to support The American Cancer Society for fifty-four years. For Sugar Party information, call 518-623- 2967 (or, the day of the party, 623-4050). See party details at www.ThurmanMapleSugarParty.com.