AUGUSTA, Maine — Commissioner Walt Whitcomb urges Maine families to visit some of the more than 100 sugarhouses participating on Sunday, March 24, as part of Maine Maple Sunday.
This annual event, held every fourth Sunday in the month of March, will celebrate its 30-year anniversary this year. Participating sugarhouses will be open for visitors to enjoy freshly made maple syrup and candy, demonstrations of syrup production, sugarbush tours, and a variety of other family activities.
Gov. Paul R. LePage recently highlighted the start of maple tapping season with Maine Maple producers on the Blaine House lawn by following an annual tradition: the tapping of a maple tree. The governor used the event to highlight the economic contributions of Maine’s maple syrup industry and its potential to create even more jobs.
“This industry demonstrates the excellent opportunity Maine has to promote its natural resource-based economy, as well as to promote job creation for our citizens,” said Gov. LePage in a prepared statement.
“The maple industry highlights multiple uses of Maine’s natural resources and how a wood lot has an array of benefits, such as maple syrup, wood production, recreation and open space. It also demonstrates the potential of our newly merged Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry to highlight all aspects of our natural resource industries,” said Commissioner Whitcomb.
Commissioner Whitcomb recently presented a bottle of Maine maple syrup to United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack during his recent visit to Maine (see photo).
Maine had 1.47 million taps and produced 360,000 gallons of maple syrup in 2011, a 14 percent increase from 2010. The latest yearly figures show that Maine generated nearly $13 million in revenue from the maple industry. In 2011, Maine was third in the nation, producing 13 percent of maple syrup in the United States. Figures for 2012 are not yet available.
Some sugarhouses will hold events on both Saturday and Sunday. For a list and map of participating sugarhouses, visit the Maine Maple Producers website: http://www.
For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, go to: www.maine.gov/acf