The state’s premier part-time sugarhouse – the historic Senate House in Kingston – will open its doors to the public Saturday, April 6, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a demonstration of maple-themed industry.
In 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated New York produced 360,000 gallons of syrup. The cost per gallon to producers varies, ranging last year between $35 and $73 per gallon. At $50 per gallon, that translates to $18 million in income for New York producers.
The USDA placed New York second, behind Vermont, in maple syrup production in 2012 and tied with Maine. New York’s most recent maple census counted 2.07 million taps.
The New York State Maple Producers Association, which lists more than 500 “sugarmakers” on its membership list and which promotes tours, recipes and maple-themed events on its NYSMaple.com website, stresses the timelessness of syrupmaking. The Senate House event will recreate maple sugar processes and products of the 1700s.
Maple syrup has its roots in Native American culture and is even the theme of an Iroquois legend. Modernity cannot intrude too much, as the sugar bushes by their very nature are old forests and it still takes about 47 gallons of sap to produce a gallon of syrup.
The association website offers an interactive map where one can punch in a zip code and a travel radius to find a sugarhouse within convenient driving distance.