This weekend New York State maple producers are opening their doors again for visits, tastings and pancake breakfasts. This celebration of spring can be found throughout the state with many producers offering a wide range of activities as well as samplings of their tasty maple products.
According to owner Pat Parker there are five generations of her family involved in her maple business. With almost 50,000 taps on 1,000 acres, the Parker Family Maple Farm in West Chazy proudly makes their local maple syrup while creating a year-round business.
“We’ve been a part of the New York Maple weekends since the very beginning, “says Parker. “We have horse-drawn wagon rides, tours and an open house. I’ve been doing this for 40 years and we’ve always held an open house, even before the Maple Weekends began. We border the Miner Institute property so people can go for a nice horse and wagon ride and come back to learn about the history of maple.”
Parker quickly describes the commercial end of the maple industry where sap is collected through tubes and monitored through computers near the evaporator, but she speaks most passionately about the up-and-coming Parker generation learning about the care of the land and the product the farm produces. She also enjoys being able to share their maple-making knowledge with other families and visitors to the farm.
“Commercially we use tubes to collect the sap, but near the sugarhouse we have buckets. People are able to taste the sap and see how fast it drips. They are able to see how this product is part of history. Maple making started as a means to provide sugar for a family. Then it turned into a way to make a bit of extra money. Now it has become, not a just a job, but a lifestyle. It’s a unique type of life. We are very proud of what we do.”
This weekend the Parker Family Maple Farm will be open for a pancake breakfast from 8 am – 1 pm. In addition to the tours and wagon rides look for face painting, pony rides, local vendors and a range of Parker maple products from maple creemee (soft ice cream) to maple cotton. If you are unable to make this maple breakfast don’t fret, Parker is serving breakfast each weekend through April 10th. Enjoy!
Photo of Parker Family Maple Farm wagon rides provided.