Big crowds for Maple Weekend

B y Bill Toscano

Mike Grottoli was surprised so many people visited Grottoli’s Maple House in Middle Granville this weekend. After all, Sunday was very likely the nicest day of the year so far.

“I am actually surprised we had so many people,” said Grottoli, who like other local maple-syrup producers was open for breakfast and tours as part of New York Maple Weekend. “I thought people would be out doing yard work or something else. I am really happy with the turnout.”

Rathbun’s Sugar House on the Granville/Whitehall line is open for breakfast year-round, but it was especially packed Sunday. At times, there were eight or 10 names on the waiting list, but the operation is a smooth one, and the line moved quickly.

“This is what we expect for Maple Weekend. Today is a really good day,” Matt Rathbun said. Saturday, he noted, was not as busy as he would have liked.

Maple Weekend will continue next weekend, but the sap run will not.

“We finished Monday,” Grottoli said. “Usually, if we finish before the open house, I keep some sap around to boil on the weekend, but that was just too early to keep it.”

Since the winter was so mild, the season started early, with Rathbun getting taps in during the early part of February, but he too wrapped up this week, finishing his boil on Wednesday.

Rathbun said he was looking at this as an average year, figuring he might wind up with 1,500 gallons of syrup. That was down from last year’s 2,000, but many maple producers said last year was one of the best they had ever had. Grottoli said he figured he had done about 75 percent of a good year.

“It started too early, and it ended too early,” he said. That’s how it is in agriculture. You never know how big the tomatoes are going to grow.”

Among the visitors at Grottoli’s was Paul Rattigan of Averill Park, who came up with his family for a trip that was partly business.

“My brother lives in Salem, and we are putting together a sugar house for next year,” he said. “We wanted to come up and see how these people were doing.”

Grottoli’s and Rathbun’s will host open houses again this weekend. Three Salem farms — Dry Brook Sugar House, Wild Hill Maple and Mapleland Farms — will be open this weekend, as will Rascher’s Sugar House in Shushan, Highland Maple Farm in Argyle, and Sugar Mill Farm in Greenwich. Farms will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be running tours, and several sites will be hosting pancake breakfasts.

In Vermont, maple farms statewide will hold a single-weekend open house on March 24 and 25.

Green’s Sugar House in Poultney is open, as is K&S Ruane Maple Farm in Tinmouth.

Other Rutland County maple-sugar producers taking part include the Wood Family Sugarhouse in Poultney, Baird Farm in North Chittenden, Bushee Family Maple Farm in Danby, Cross Road Sugar Co. in Ira, Krueger-Norton Sugarhouse in Shrewsbury, the New England Maple Museum in Pittsford, Papa John’s Sugar Shack in Mount Holly, Smith Maple Crest Farm in Shrewsbury, and Sugar & Spice Restaurant & Gift Shop in Mendon.

The Merck Forest & Farmland Center in Rupert (see sidebar), Mountain Valley Maple Farm in West Rupert and Havoc Hill Sugar House in East Dorset will also be open.

Other Bennington County sugar houses open for the weekend event are Mance Family Tree Farm, Maple Hill Maple and Peacock’s Pure Maple Syrup, all in Shaftsbury, and Senecal’s Sugar House in Stamford.

Comments

comments

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hampton Firehouse sale looms

Hampton firehouse

By Joshua Bassett Barring someone petitioning for a public referendum within 30 days of May 20, the Hampton Town Board […]

Whitehall Elementary honors fallen heroes

Winners of the citizenship awards

By Dan King Although the weather started chilly on Thursday, it turned nice just in time for the annual Whitehall […]

Huge turnout for Whitehall parade

Charles Austin and Henry Gurney escort Cathy Aiken to place the wreath

By Dan King “I didn’t even know there were this many people in Whitehall,” a spectator said as he watched […]

Granville High School honors fallen soldiers

good 4

By Joshua Bassett Granville High School’s gym was quiet Friday afternoon as many gathered there to give thanks to the […]

Hundreds join in Granville parade

good 8

By Joshua Bassett Hundreds gathered Monday on Granville’s Main Street and in Veterans Park to honor and celebrate those lost […]

Car rally to boast more than just cars

According to organizers of the Penrhyn Engine Co. Car Rally in Middle Granville, they’ve seen it all over the years. […]

Beauty will be rewarded

The Slate Valley Garden Club is taking submissions for the organization’s annual beautification awards from now until August. Anyone with […]

Pratts question Hampton coverage

By Joshua Bassett During the public participation portion of a Hampton Town Board meeting last week, Arnie Pratt and his […]

Slate Valley Museum to host ‘spring tasting’

By Laura McCusker The Slate Valley Museum in Granville will host its first-ever Spring Tasting on the Alley on Saturday, […]

Granville FFA goes to convention

Granville FFA Convention pic

By Tara Cook New York State FFA 2014-2015 vice-president Seth Browe, was elected to be the 2015-2016 District 3 FFA […]

Rail Trail 5K this weekend

By Joshua Bassett The sixth annual Rail Trail 5K race takes place this Saturday, May 30. The race/walk begins at […]

Town, village join county efficiency plan

By Dan King Both the town and village of Whitehall have joined Washington County in a plan that aims to […]