Maple Weekends come to Ravena

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By Melanie Lekocevic

Capital Region Independent Media

Some of the tasty treats offered at Crosstown Maple, which is holding open house events this weekend and next weekend. Melanie Lekocevic/Capital Region Independent Media

RAVENA — A local maple producer in Ravena is among dozens around New York state to participate in Maple Weekend celebrations in March.

Crosstown Maple, owned by Kevin Reinisch, is hosting Maple Weekend activities that began March 19. The business will also hold an open house Sunday, March 20, and again next weekend, March 26 and 27. Crosstown Maple is located at 533 Blodgett Hill Road, Ravena.

Check out the March 31 issue of the Ravena News-Herald for a profile of Crosstown Maple and learn about how trees are tapped and sap is processed to bring tasty treats to your table.

Maple Weekends are held around the state as a special promotion for the maple industry. Farms statewide are opening their doors to the public and offering tours and pancake breakfasts, selling maple products and demonstrating the syrup-making process.

Many will also conduct tours that show how maple sap is collected from trees using either the traditional system of hanging a bucket on the tree or the more modern method of using a vacuum system to increase the amount of sap that can be collected.

More than 140 maple farms will participate in Maple Weekends around New York state. In addition to Crosstown Maple, other local participating producers in Albany County will include Mountain Winds Farm, 12 Williamson Road, Berne, and Bittersweet Maple Farm, 44 Schanz Lane, Berne.

“Maple season is underway, and the sap is already flowing in many parts of the state,” said Commissioner Richard Ball from the New York State Department of Agriculture. “This is the perfect time to visit a local NYS Grown & Certified maple producer, find out more about the syrup-making process, and enjoy some of New York’s sweetest crop. New York’s maple industry contributes tremendously to our local communities and economies, and I encourage everyone to support our maple businesses and participate in Maple Weekends this year.”

New York state ranks second in the nation for maple production and has the largest number of tappable maple trees in the United States. More than 2,000 maple sugar makers do business in the state, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Maple Weekends are an annual event in the state to boost agritourism and promote the maple industry.

Maple producers are excited to be able to welcome customers back to the sugarhouse this year after the challenging past couple of years we’ve all faced,” said Dave Campbell, president of the Upper Hudson Maple Producers Association. “This year’s maple season is off to a good start and we already have plenty of syrup and other products available for customers across the state to purchase and enjoy a taste of New York maple.”

New York state’s Taste NY markets will also offer a sampling promotion of maple products at its shops all month long, including the market at the Capital Region Welcome Center in New Baltimore, on the northbound side of the New York State Thruway.

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