It’s the first day of spring, and Maple Harvest Festival is almost here! Join us this weekend, March 24 and 25, for an action-packed day of maple sugaring demonstrations, interactive teaching stations, live music, Bird of Prey shows, and the ever-favorite all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. Our pancake breakfast features pure maple syrup from regional PA producers, locally produced organic sausage, and our delicious pancakes made from scratch from local ingredients.
You may be wondering how our unusually warm winter has affected maple syrup production. The best weather for collecting maple sap is when we have above-freezing temperatures and sun during the day and below freezing temperatures during the night. Because of our mild winter, the tapping season started about three or four weeks early this year.
When trees form their spring buds, their pheromones change and affect the consistency and flavor of the sap. What we call “buddy” sap has a distinct odor and has an oily sheen to it. This kind of sap is not good for making syrup, so the tapping season ends when buds begin to form on the trees. As red maples have begun to flower and sugar maples will be budding out soon, most commercial producers have already wrapped up their seasons.
To learn about the whole process of making maple syrup—from identifying the trees to collecting and boiling sap—be sure to come out to Shaver’s Creek this weekend. The festival runs from 10:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, with a free members-only breakfast from 9:30–10:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Admission to the festival and pancake breakfast is $10 for nonmembers ($6 for ages 6–11), and $5 for Shaver’s Creek members ($3 for ages 6–11). Children ages 5 and under are free.
For more information, including a schedule of entertainment for the weekend, visit: http://bit.ly/2012MapleHarvestFest, or call 814-863-2000.
For more information on the process behind maple sugaring, visit this page from Penn State Extension.
~ Jillian “Chicory” Hanelly, Spring 2012 Intern