Sugarhouses open to the public this weekend

ADDISON COUNTY — More than a dozen Addison County sugaring operations will open their doors to the public on Saturday, March 22, and Sunday, March 23, in conjunction with the Vermont Maple Sugarmakers Association’s 13th annual Vermont Maple Open House Weekend. This weekend event, when Vermont’s sugarmakers invite the public to their sugarhouses, gives visitors an opportunity to see how maple syrup is made and experience a day in the life of the sugarmaker.
Visitors can often see the entire process, from tapping the tree to pouring finished syrup in a bottle. It is a great opportunity to learn about the history and the science behind maple syrup.
Each sugarhouse brings something unique to the event, with some offering full tours of their operations, sampling of different grades of maple syrup and other maple products, hikes through the sugarbush, and more. And of course, each sugarmaker brings their own personality and backgrounds, truly making each visit a unique experience.
Maple Open House Weekend is held rain, snow or shine. While the visits are free and sugarmakers generally love to talk about what they do, those that offer such things as a pancake breakfast do charge a nominal fee.
Local sugarhouses taking part include:
•  Triple T Mapleworks, 3113 Richville Road, Shoreham.
•  Solar Sweet Maple Farm, 3841 South Lincoln Road, Lincoln.
•  Dakin Farms, 5797 Route 7, Ferrisburgh.
•  Bread Loaf View Farm, 564 Cider Mill Road, Cornwall.
•  Shaker Hill Sugarworks, 780 Shaker Hill Road, Starksboro.
•  Heffernan Family Sugarworks, 409 Gore Road, Starksboro.
•  Red Rock Valley Maple Farm, 160 Sugarhouse Lane, Starksboro.
•  Little Hogback Farm, 2365 Lower Notch Road, Bristol.
•  Twin Maple Sugar Works, 88 West River Road, Lincoln.
•  Wood Family Bison Ranch, 224 South Main St, Whiting.
•  Bagley Sugar Works, 307 Kelly Cross Road, Salisbury.
•  Bear Cobble Sugarworks, 1303 Jerusalem Road, Bristol.
•  Williams Maple Farm, 35 Swamp Road, Cornwall.
•  Moosalamoo Sugarworks, 296 Pidgeon Road East, Salisbury.
This is the list of sugarmakers officially taking part in the open house weekend, but many others not on this list will welcome visitors, too; so if you see steam and sap coming from a sugarhouse, you might want to stop and introduce yourself.
For more information on sugarhouses near you and driving directions to all sugarhouses, visit www.vermontmaple.org/events.
Vermont is the nation’s largest producer of maple syrup, tapping more than 3 million trees. Production has averaged over 900,000 gallons of maple syrup annually in recent years. 
In related news: Vermont Trade Winds Farm will host its annual Sugarhouse Dessert Contest this Saturday. Here’s how it works: Prepare a homemade dessert that includes a pure Vermont maple product, type up the recipe and affix it to the dessert plate, and hand it in at the Shoreham farm’s sugarhouse at 11:30 a.m., when judging will begin. Each participant get a free pint of the farm’s maple syrup. Results will be announced at 2 p.m. In addition to bragging rights, the winner gets a gallon of maple syrup. The farm is located on Route 74, six miles south of Cornwall center.

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