Governor Charlie Baker has declared March “Massachusetts Maple Month” in an effort to support the Commonwealth’s many maple producers and encourage Massachusetts residents to purchase locally-produced maple products.
According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Massachusetts is home to approximately 300 maple syrup producers, including many who are open to the public throughout the sugaring season. Last year about 75,000 gallons of maple syrup worth more than $4.3 million was produced across the Commonwealth.
Governor Baker called the maple syrup industry “a time-honored Massachusetts tradition,” adding, “I encourage residents to support our local maple syrup producers and purchase delicious Massachusetts maple products.”
Approximately $1.9 million in revenue is generated by maple farms, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, country inns, and other attractions in farm communities. Additionally, Massachusetts sugar makers steward more than 15,000 acres of woodland.
Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito called maple syrup “not only the first agricultural crop of the season but also one of the most important. By declaring March as Massachusetts Maple month, we hope everyone will take part in recognizing the importance of the Commonwealth’s maple producers.”
Tapping maple trees in Massachusetts can start at the end of January and continue through April. For prime sugaring, nights must be below freezing and days must be above freezing. Everything from the weather, soil, and genetics of the tree can affect maple syrup flavor.
Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton called maple syrup “an inherently sustainable agricultural product because healthy, well-maintained trees can be tapped for over 100 years.”
In 2015, Massachusetts ranked 12th in exports for maple syrup totaling just over $282,000, with South Korea being the state’s top trading partner, according to the Massachusetts Export Center.
The Massachusetts Maple Producers Association (MMPA) holds its 3rd Annual Maple Weekend March 19 to 20, featuring open house events at over 45 sugarhouses, and special maple menus at participating restaurants made with 100% pure Massachusetts maple syrup.
The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism has a roundup of Maple Sugaring activities in Massachusetts.