It’s March, and in Massachusetts that means…it’s Maple Month!

A few years ago, Governor Baker made the declaration that March is Massachusetts Maple Month, and for good reason!  Maple is big business around here, and Massachusetts ranks in the top 10 states for producing maple.  Our neighbors to the north, Vermont, rank number 1.

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Maple season is generally from mid-February through April, but it can vary year to year, especially here in The Berkshires.  To get the tree sap flowing, the days have to be above freezing, and the nights have to be below freezing.  The sugarmakers then set up their buckets, or a tubing system to collect the sap from the maple trees.

And…did you know that a tree has to be roughly forty years old before you can tap it for maple?  They also have to be no less than 10 inches in diameter.  Also, in general, a large healthy maple tree can handle three or four taps on it.  As long as the tree is healthy, this won’t hurt it at all.  From each tap, an average amount of ten gallons of sap will be taken.

A line of trees with maple syrup buckets.

This is a good reminder to me of why maple syrup seems so expensive.  It’s because it’s in high demand, and the tapping season only lasts for one to two months!  And, I don’t know about you…but once you get used to real maple syrup, it’s hard to go back to the fake stuff.  I also know people (who won’t be named) that straight up drink maple syrup.

There are lots of great sugarhouses in Berkshire County, from Bear Mountain Maple Products, Holiday Brook Farm, Ioka Valley Farm, Sweet Brook Farm and more, so make sure you support maple in Berkshire County, and enjoy Maple Month in Massachusetts!

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