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‘Maple Days’ popular despite frigid weather, stubborn sap

John Los, Rotterdam, woodworking, Martin’s Lumber, Thurman Maple Days
Photo by Wini Martin

John Los, Rotterdam, woodworking, Martin’s Lumber, Thurman Maple Days Photo by Wini Martin

— Despite persistent frigid weather which has continued to curb the traditional March flow of sap in Adirondack “sugarbushes,” Thurman Maple Days attracted robust crowds over the past two weekends.

Fragrant steam emanated from sugar houses boiling down sap to make maple syrup this last weekend, while visitors tasted samples of the brew and shopped for maple products.

Hosts at the seven sites on the tour through Thurman witnessed familiar faces in the crowd — those who have made the trek an annual rite — as well as dozens of newcomers.

Those returning to Nettle Meadow farm to visit goats and sheep and sample their gourmet cheese were impressed with the restoration of the historic barn — although none took home any of the free kittens offered for adoption by the enterprise’s animal sanctuary, Nettle Meadow co-owner Sheila Flanagan said.

Irv West of Peru Llama Farm welcomed a family showing up for llama kisses for the third year. Martin’s Lumber also welcomed guests from prior years, crediting the annual offering of snickerdoodles which Wini Martin and her grandson Miles had baked. Also considered a draw were the beading demonstrations and Gary Martin’s blacksmith forge.

Traveling farthest to attend maple days was the Perry family, Floridians on vacation in New York City who learned of Thurman Maple Days through the Warren County Tourism website. Wini Martin presented the Perrys with a ceremonial wooden “Key to Thurman” in recognition of their long trek.

Randy Galusha of Toad Hill Maple Farm reported a large number of visitors, perhaps setting a record.

“Despite setbacks of continuing cold weather and being shorthanded, we managed to have one of our best weekends ever,” Galusha said. “Our attendance and sales were both great.”

Thurman Maple Days’ free activities continue from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday March 29 and Sunday March 30, with pancake breakfasts served at Valley Road Maple Farm from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m daily. New this year are Thurman tote bags available for purchase at all sites. Find details and maps at www.ThurmanMapleDays.com.

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