Massachusetts maple producers made 75,000 gallons of syrup during the 2015 sugaring season, surpassing what had already been a run of two banner years with production, according to figures from the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The winter was cold and long, but when the sap did begin running in late March, sugarmakers produced a bumper crop of Massachusetts’ sweetest harvest.
Nationally, production of maple syrup was up by about 6%, according to a report released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, but Massachusetts saw a gain of of 23%, a greater increase than all but one other state. Sugarmakers in the Commonwealth set 310,000 taps according to the survey, 20,000 more than in 2014, continuing the steady growth of the maple industry in Massachusetts. The state is ranked ninth in maple production nationally.
“Massachusetts sugarmakers were wondering if spring would ever come, and when it finally did they made the most of it,” said Massachusetts Maple Producers Association (MMPA) Coordinator Winton Pitcoff. “This year’s crop had excellent flavor, and sugarmakers around the state have plenty of maple syrup, cream and candy available for sale.”
This year’s maple season was highlighted by Maple Weekend, March 21 to 22, when more than 40 sugarhouses around the state were open to visitors who got to see syrup being made, learn about the process and history of maple production, and sample and purchase the Commonwealth’s sweetest crop. Nearly 40 restaurants featured menu items made with 100% pure Massachusetts maple syrup that weekend as well.