Maple Sugaring Weekends in the Hudson Valley are set for March 17/18 and March 24/25 Attention maple lovers, it’s that time of year when the sap runs free from the area sugar maple trees! Did you know that New York State is the second leading producer of fresh maple sugar in the nation? New York State with 760,000 gallons trails Vermont with its 1,980,000 gallons, third is Maine with 709,000. In 2017 the US had a record breaking year for maple sugar production of 13,341,000 gallons, up 4.2 million gallons from the year before. So where does one go in the Hudson Valley to find out how maple sugar is turned into maple syrup? Sugar shacks throughout the area range from wood fired family owned operations at Nieses Maple Farm, Cronin’s Maple Farm, White Oak Farm and Soukup Farms to a very large and upscale production at Crown Maple. Most offer a pancake breakfast and a tour of the facility. It is a most fascinating process and another MADE IN NEW YORK product. Each year I plan my visit to a different sugar shack to have a conversation with the sugar makers about the number of sugar bushes (location of trees), how many taps they have and the amount they produce. The wood fired evaporators are as fascinating as the sugar makers themselves! Most have been at it for decades leaving behind their high stress NYC jobs to produce this magnificent liquid. Click here for maple sugar facts courtesy of Soukup Farms. Hope to see you at the farm! Have fun and enjoy this tasty treat straight form the Hudson Valley! Elisa Bruno-Midili is an Associate Broker and Creative Director at Cafe Realty and also a Hudson Valley advocate, foodie, farm lover and avid hiker and photographer. Contact Elisa 914-230-0650 or Connect@CafeRealtyNY.com.