Maple Weekend kicks off with newcomers in the sugar shack game

It wasn’t hard to get your fingers sticky Sunday.
It wasn’t hard to get your fingers sticky Sunday.(wwny)
Published: Mar. 19, 2023 at 6:24 PM EDT
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TOWN OF WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - It wasn’t hard to get your fingers sticky Sunday.

For the Rudd family, each year they get a taste of the syrup celebration that is Maple Weekend.

“We go together as a family and have the kids understand where their maple syrup comes from. Sometimes they’ll see taps on the trees nearby, so it’s good to put the full process together,” said Liz Rudd, who was visiting Steiner’s Running Wild Sugar Shack.

One of their stops this weekend was a new sugar shack at an already popular sweet stop: Burrville Cider Mill. The main attraction this weekend is, you guessed it, maple syrup.

A family affair, the Steiners own and operate the cider mill. Forrest Steiner says being able to open up the sugar shack is a dream come true.

“We made syrup every year just at a small scale, like a turkey fryer in the backyard. We always talked about going bigger with it so that we can supply our own syrup for the cider mill,” said Steiner.

Steiner says the family knows cider is their thing, but didn’t imagine maple syrup to be a success. Steiner says Lyle Pickert, a maple syrup supplier, became a maple syrup mentor during the process.

“It worked out perfect, I was able to learn a lot from him, and ease our way into it, instead of just diving in,” said Steiner.

A sugar shack celebrating its second year: the Maplewoods Sweets LLC. Owner Scott Zehr says hundreds have already come by this Maple Weekend.

“First sip of the fresh maple syrup, the face is why we do Maple Weekend. It’s very rewarding,” said Zehr.

So, how is the maple syrup made? Once, the sap makes its way to the sugar shack, it goes through a process called reverse osmosis which takes out most of the water. The sap then becomes thicker through boiling, and at the right temperature, out comes maple syrup.

Maple Weekend continues next weekend, March 25th and 26th.