Spring is just around the corner, and that means local farmers are preparing for the annual maple harvest. Want to tap into this annual tradition? We've got four ways for you to savor the sweetness. 


Producer Tour - Maple Weekend

Take a producer tour

March 17 and 18, 25 and 26, maple producers across the state observe Maple Weekends, offering tours, demonstrations, and of course, tastings. 


Mountain Winds Farm is the participating producer in Albany County. Mountain Winds Farm is nestled in the western hills of Berne, NY in the Heldeberg Hilltowns. Formerly the Williamson Family Farm, the Grippin Family has owned this maple and chicken farm since 1961. Today, the farm is operated by second-generation farmer Randy Grippin, his wife Sally, and his three children.


Grippin, a Master Forest Owner trained at Cornell University, started his maple syrup operation in 2005 with 50 pails, and has been growing the operation slowly and sustainably ever since. Today, the farm boasts 50,000 feet of pipeline and 1,300 taps with the capacity to produce 500 gallons of syrup each Spring. Take a tour of the property, and catch the Grippins hard at work crafting maple syrup, maple cream, maple candy and maple mustard. 





Partake of pancakes

To round out the Maple Weekend Festivities, neighboring charities will be hosting pancake breakfasts. Think of this as a parade of pancakes, a brunch to end all brunches. And best of all? No one will scold you about how much syrup you use. 
Sap Run 5K

Join the sap run

After enjoying this smorgasbord of syrup, you may want to work it off at the Sap Run 5K. This community event and fundraiser for the Helderberg Hilltowns Association. This annual event, which is its seventh year, will kick off at the Knox Town Hall in Knox on March 17 at 10am. For more information, please visit saprun5k.org


Sugaring Off Sundays at the Farmers Museum in Cooperstown


Sugaring Off Sundays 

Every Sunday in March (March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 ), you can enjoy syrup taps and sugarmaking demonstrations at the Farmers Museum in Cooperstown. Set in a reconstructed village, the demonstrations take place in a town square, lined with maple trees. Afterwards you can lay in some pancakes in the historic main barn, and tour the village's buildings and outbuildings to learn more about the early life in America. Visit the blacksmith shop, and see craftspeople at work, check out the Children's Barnyard to get to know heritage breeds, enjoy authentic jack wax, and take a ride on the museum's restored 19th century carousel.