A sweet and beloved tradition that celebrates maple season kicking into high gear has been cancelled for a second straight year, but the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers’ Association (VMSMA) has some ways for you to honor your love of the sappy goodness from the comfort of home.
Maple Open House Weekend is usually a time for Vermonters to open the doors of their sugar houses and invite visitors from near and far inside to learn, taste and explore first hand the maple sugar industry. However, the VMSMA has made the decision to cancel the weekend once again for safety reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While this year’s cancellation is much less of a surprise than 2020 and we know that it’s the right call, Vermont sugar makers miss having in-person opportunities to share their craft during the sugaring season,” said the VMSMA.
That’s why the association is working to bring some of the joys of the open house to people’s homes — allowing them to put their feet up and keep their sweatpants on while ordering products and learning more virtually.
‘Like’ Vermont Maple on Facebook to find links to Vermont sugar makers, watch maple videos, and use VMSMA’s recipes to make some maple comfort food. You can also visit vermontmaple.org/buy-pure-maple/ to find a list of maple product merchants and order from your favorite or try someone new.
According to the VMSMA, total U.S. maple syrup production in 2020 was 4.37 million gallons with Vermont’s contribution accounting for 2.22 million of those gallons — about 51% of the nation’s production.
Vermont Maple Ambassador Program
Vermont students between the ages of 16-21 with knowledge and experience with maple sugaring can get involved through the ambassador program this year as the association and the Vermont Maple Festival are looking for candidates to represent Vermont Maple at functions throughout the state and New England. Ambassadors promote, publicize, and educate the public with their maple knowledge, and they take part in fairs, festivals, field days, and most of the significant Vermont maple events.
A $2,500 scholarship will be awarded to each of the two ambassadors chosen. The selection will be made virtually on Zoom Saturday, April 17. Find additional information and the application in the coming weeks at vtmaplefestival.org/contests.