Maple producers open their doors - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Maple producers open their doors

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David Palmer, owner of Palmer's Sugarhouse, is excited he can still hold Maple Open House Weekend at his sugarhouse in Shelburne - after this harsh winter.

"We got a little bit of sap this week that we've held in our collection tank, so that we're able to do some demonstrating here today of making some maple syrup. But it has had an impact on whether we can be boiling all weekend," says Palmer.

Maple Open House Weekend is held every year to celebrate the sugar makers who provide the region with real maple syrup. Along with boiling reserves, Palmer's family-owned sugar house was also making maple candy, and providing customers with all kinds of maple goodies.

"I just love sugaring season. You sit around, you wait for the sap to boil down, all friends and family come together. It's just really special," says Jeanelle Achee, winner of the Miss Vermont 2013 pageant.

Before Palmer's Sugarhouse made maple syrup it was a dairy farm for over 100 years, but now they focus on the sweet stuff. For Maple Open House Weekend, a customer favorite is sugar on snow.

"Come here every year to get sugar on snow, and it's just a good sense of community. I've seen a lot of familiar faces here from my town. And the live music - it's a great atmosphere." says Sierra Williams of Shelburne.

Sugar houses in New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont are taking part in Maple Open House Weekend. However, conditions this year for producing maple syrup have been less than ideal.

"It is a tough season. I've been here doing it for about 50 years, and in that 50 years we've spent more time in the month of April than in March," says Peter Thomson of Mt. Cube Sugar Farm.

But, producers say they are making the best of it - opening their doors across the region.

"It's really close to our heart. It's something that we really as a family come together, and friends have joined us, and as you can see there's a lot of people that leave here feeling really happy and it makes us happy to see that," says Palmer.

Maple syrup celebrated in a sweet way the first weekend of spring.

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