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2011 Sugaring Update

March 21, 2011

This past week has heralded a great beginning to our 2011 sugaring season. With a snowcover of 5-6 feet in much of the woods (after the 3ft “storm of the century” two weeks ago), frosty nights, and daytime temperatures pushing up above freezing (but not by much), we have enjoyed classic sugaring weather so far. The thousands of gallons of crystal clear sap we’ve collected over the last ten days have all been transformed into delicious maple syrup. The color is light golden, and the flavor is exquisite.
We will have new 2011 maple syrup, maple candies, and maple marshmallows at the Union Square Greenmarket this Friday and Saturday, March 25 and 26. Maple cream will have to wait a few weeks until our production season calms down a bit.
The weather forecast for the upcoming week makes us optimistic that this season will hang on for a while. As I write, we’re getting yet another snowstorm, with 8-10 inches expected before it stops. Hooray, hooray! More snow means more maple syrup!
See you at Union Square!

2011 Maple Syrup is here

In this part of the world, March madness does not refer to basketball. March madness is what happens when the woods are filled with people staggering around on snowshoes, trying to get all the sugar maples tapped before the sap runs. The madness part comes in when, just about the time you’re feeling like you might be nearly ready, a big whopping March snowstorm comes along and buries all your hard work – miles of plastic tubing snaking over acres of forested and steep terrain – under 3 feet of new snow. That’s on top of the 3 or 4 feet of old snow. And then it pours rain for a day. And then it snows some more.

Three guys shoveling for three days later, that’s where we are now. That’s why my husband, Howie, always says that people who make maple syrup might appear to be a little mad this time of year.

This morning we awoke to more softly falling snow, the kind that coats every limb and twig with the temperature hovering just below freezing. It will warm up by a few degrees in the next few hours, and the sap will begin to run. Added to the sap that we collected yesterday in this first real run of the season, we have enough to boil. That is, we have enough sap to fill our huge pans, enough to light the first fire of the season under them and begin the yearly ritual of evaporation, transforming the watery sustenance of the stately sugar maple into the golden elixir of spring.

Get out the pickles! Sugaring time is here!

Very soon we’ll be bringing our first syrup of 2011 to the Greenmarket at Union Square, just as we’ve done every spring for the last 27 years. We hope to see you there. And if you’re in our little village of West Glover, stop by the newly refurbished Lake Parker Country Store and pick up a jug of our delicious 2011 “essence of spring.”

“On the Farm” is back! My irregular posts — dedicated to providing information about our maple offerings at Greenmarket and elsewhere, and to providing a forum for discourse on a wide range of culinary and agricultural topics — will resume as of now. I will use this space to let you know what is happening on the farm and at the market.

In the Market NOW

Our Greenmarket customers who yearn to prolong the sweet berry flavors of summer will be happy to know that all of our wonderful maple fruit syrups can now be found at our stand at Union Square in Manhattan. (Just to remind you, we are there every Friday and Saturday.) Right now, we have Raspberry, Strawberry, Wild! Blackberry, Blueberry, Ginger, and Hot Pepper Maple Syrups. That is surely something for everyone.

To make Deep Mountain Maple fruit syrups we juice fresh, local fruit; we concentrate the juice; and we blend it with our own pure maple syrup. Nothing else is added. Nothing else is needed to make a delicious syrup that is bursting with summer’s best flavors. Come by the stand and we’ll give you a taste.

We will try to keep a nice selection of fruit syrups on the table at the market throughout the fall and the holiday season, but we may not have every flavor every week. Visit us soon for the best selection.

Until next time,

Stephan Cantor

In The Market 4.16.10

MAPLE CREAM is back! This week at the Union Square Greenmarket we have delicious maple cream made from this year’s new syrup. Yum. Spreadable maple.

Also, RAMPS are up in the woods and we will have a few bunches at the market. These fantastically pungent wild leeks are a real spring treat and are only around for a short while. If you really want them this week you should come see us on Friday, because they might not last until Saturday.

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Web photos by Stephan Cantor, Lee Houck, Katherine Pangaro, June Russell and David Navas.
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