Maple Open House Weekend taps into growing demand

Bennington County sugarers among the 138 participating statewide

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JERICHO — Vermont leads the nation by a commanding margin as the top maple producing state. Total US maple syrup production in 2018 was 4.1 million gallons, with Vermont's contribution accounting for more than 1.9 million of those gallons.

Maple Open House Weekend on March 23 and 24 is a chance for Vermont sugar makers to do their victory dance while opening the doors of their sugarhouses for visitors traveling from near and far wanting to see, taste, and experience firsthand why people should think of Vermont first when they think of maple syrup.

An estimated 40,000-plus visitors toured the state for last year's event, and organizers expect that number to grow with the addition of 22 new participating locations on the map in 2019. In addition to sugarhouse experiences, event weekend visitors can expect to be see an extensive display of maple uses showcased by partnering local Vermont businesses who specialize in their own craft and support Vermont's maple industry by including maple in their ingredients, on their menus, and offered for sale at their locations.

Visitors will be welcomed by their sugar maker hosts, who will educate and share with the public the sap to syrup process. With each sugarhouse providing a different experience, the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers' Association is encouraging visitors to plan travel routes to visit sugarhouses in all corners of the state. Some traditional Open House activities include sampling syrup, pancake breakfasts, horse-drawn sleigh rides, sugar-on-snow parties and plenty of maple products to taste, including maple donuts, maple cotton candy and maple creemees.

Below is a list of the participating Bennington County sugarhouses. For more information about the weekend and to view the map and list of all 138 participating sugarhouses, partnering businesses, and lodging options, visit www.vermontmaple.org/mohw.

The Vermont Maple Sugar Makers' Association was founded in 1893, making it one of the oldest agricultural organizations in the United States. The VMSMA helps to promote and protect the branding of pure Vermont maple products and to serve as the official voice for Vermont sugar makers.

Participating Bennington County sugarhouses

Berard's Sugarhouse

Name: Joe Berard

Address: 1356 Branch Hill Road, Readsboro

Phone: 413-652-2616

Saturday Open House hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sunday Open House hours: Closed

Open House activities: Maple and birch syrup evaporators, bourbon barrel aged maple syrup, blueberry maple syrup, maple candy and maple cream.

Dunn's Leak~ee Bucket Sugar Shack

Name: Jason and Theodore Dunn

Address: 2710 Chapel Road, Bennington

Phone: 802-688-9915

Saturday Open House hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sunday Open House hours: Closed

Armstrong Farm

Name: Keith Armstrong

Address: 614 US 7, Pownal

Phone: 802-442-6715

Saturday Open House hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Sunday Open House hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Wing Farm

Name: Scott McEnaney

Address: 599 Town Line Road, Shaftsbury

Phone: 802-345-3966

Saturday Open House hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday Open House hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Open House activities: Sugarhouse tours, sugar bush tours and a nice VT farm experience. Samples of syrup provided; locally produced goodies, honey from the farm's bees and other items for purchase. Don't miss out on the now famous hot dogs cooked in maple syrup.

Mance Family Tree Farm

Name: David Mance

Address: 217 Holliday Drive, Shaftsbury

Phone: 802-688-3506

Saturday Open House hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday Open House hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Open House activities: Learn all about how maple syrup is made — geared for children and adults. See buckets and tubing, sugarhouse tours, free samples, reverse osmosis and wood fired boiling demonstration (weather permitting), Sunday only sugar on snow.

Mountain Valley Maple Farm

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Name: Michael Lourie

Address: 1498 State Highway Route 153, West Rupert

Phone: 802-394-2928

Saturday Open House hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday Open House hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Open House activities: See syrup being made, free samples, sugarhouse tour, waffle sticks along with coffee, hot chocolate and donuts, maple syrup and candy and custom-made maple syrup pitchers for sale.

Merck Forest & Farmland Center

Name: Kathryn Lawrence

Address: 3270 Route 315, Rupert

Phone: 802-394-7836

Saturday Open House hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; breakfast at the saphouse from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sunday Open House hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; breakfast at the saphouse from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Open house activities: Pancake breakfast, silent auction, wagon ride, sap house demos, self-guided farm tours and visits with farm animals.

Maple Hill Maple

Name: Rick Kobik

Address: 207 Maple Hill Road, Shaftsbury

Phone: 802-375-2251

Saturday Open House hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday Open House hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Open House activities: Free maple treats, sap house tours of wood-fired evaporator, maple syrup for sale.

Sugar Shack

Name: Rick Hawley

Address: 118 Sugar Shack Lane, Arlington

Phone: 802-375-2805

Saturday Open House hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sunday Open House hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Open House activities: Sugar house tours and explanations, warm syrup samples, free silver dollar pancakes and syrup giveaways. Maple creemees, maple glazed and cider doughnuts, maple frosted sugar cookies and lots of other goodies available for purchase in the Sugar Shack.

Glastenview Maple Farm

Name: Bill & Susan Freeman

Address: 571 Glastenview Drive, Shaftsbury

Phone: 802-442-4687

Saturday Open House hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday Open House hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Open House activities: Tours of the sugarbush, consisting of over 600 gravity line, and bucket taps, and the sugarhouse, with a 2 1/2-by-8 wood-fired evaporator. Pure Vermont maple syrup, bourbon barrel aged maple syrup, maple sugar, maple sugar candies, maple walnuts, maple cream and an assortment of maple snacks will be available to sample and purchase.

Ball Brook Sugar House

Name: David Dence

Address: 914 Niles School Road, Pownal

Phone: 802-379-0337

Saturday Open House hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday Open House hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Open House activities: Maple products for sale. Bring and fill your own container from the syrup on tap. Informative tours of sugar house and sugar bush throughout the day. Free samples and popcorn. A scavenger hunt and coloring books for the kids.


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