Area representatives kicked off the celebration of all things maple in Middle Granville at Grottoli’s Maple Friday afternoon with the ceremonial tapping of the first maple tree.
The 16th annual maple weekend(s) began with Sen. Betty Little and Assemblyman Tony Jordan putting an old style tap into a tree behind the sugarhouse.
“I’m just relived that the drill worked, only because of the abuse I’d take until next year,” Jordan quipped after sap began running into the bucket.
Jordan used an old fashioned drill to make way for the tap later driven into the tree by Sen. Little.
“I love coming to these things, what could be more fun? Coming out with the family, it’s inexpensive and it’s a great place to be and a great place to relate the agricultural industry of Washington County,” Little said.
Hosts Mike and Laurie Grottoli said they were optimistic a lot of people would come out during the weekends. Mike Grottoli said based on the weather it looked like the two days of unseasonably warm weather should not affect the crop. Although he was quick to add, “You never know.”
New York State Maple Producers Association President Dave Campbell said it was looking like a good start to the season despite the two days of unseasonably warm weather.
Temperatures just after noon during the tapping topped 60 degrees with blue skies and bright sunshine.
Busy at his own Maple Land Farms sugarhouse, Campbell said he hadn’t had much of a chance to talk with others around the state to see how they were doing thus far. Supervisors Matt Hicks, Brian Campbell from Hebron and board chairman John Rymph of Easton attended the event.