March is Maple Month in Massachusetts and Franklin County sugarhouses are yielding the first taste of spring as the maple sap begins to flow. Whether you kick off spring with breakfast at a sugarhouse or pick up fresh maple products including syrup, candy, spread, or other maple items, there are delicious options awaiting. And don't miss Mass Maple Weekend March 18th and 19th, 2023!
Maple: A Taste of Spring
491 Greenfield Road, Deerfield, MA 413-773-5186
Open Sat & Sun 7:30 am – 2 pm March 4th through early April
The Williams family has been sugaring for over 150 years. Today, when you walk into the post and beam sugarhouse near their farm in Deerfield, you’ll probably see Chip Williams through the steam at the evaporator working his maple magic. You are invited to a full maple breakfast in the restaurant with seating at nine picnic tables and benches on either side of the wood furnace and can visit the evaporator room or browse the store for syrup jugs to take home, maple candy, cream or even a maple cookbook. Can’t make it there? Order from their online store.
Davenport Farm Sugarhouse
111 Tower Rd, Shelburne, MA 413-625-2866
Sugarhouse open weekends 8 am - 3 pm, February 25th - April 2nd
In existence since 1770, this scenic farm has 2500 tree taps. The warm homey restaurant is set up with patrons seated together at large tables for the opportunity to strike up conversations with new friends. The “from scratch” menu features a full breakfast including their popular Finnish pancakes, an oven cooked custardy cross between Yorkshire pudding and pancake. After putting your name in for a table, the lower level offers viewing of the working evaporator and a chance to ask questions about the syrup process. Be sure to find the stained glass window of maple samples. They are limiting capacity to 6 parties or less at a time so get your name in early.
Hager’s Farm Market
1232 Mohawk Trail (Route 2) Shelburne, MA 413-625-6323
Market, Mon-Sun: 7:30am – 6:00pm
Grill, Mon-Sun: 7:30am - 2:00pm
Hager’s Market has a nice selection of products from their maple farm including syrup, maple coated nuts, dips, popcorn and more. You can even get breakfast including french toast, Maple Breakfast Sandwich – Egg, Sausage, Cabot cheddar cheese topped with Hagers own Maple Syrup grilled to perfection served on Hagers Maple Oat Bread - and cider donuts with maple cream. During Mass Maple Weekend, March 18-19, they feature fried dough with maple cream, host boiling and cooking demonstrations, and offer kid friendly activities. Be sure to check ahead for activity status and Covid precaustions. While there, you can pick up other local products including Hager's own beef, pork, fresh bread, frozen pies, spices, local beer and wine, produce and more. If you prefer to stay home, you can shop their maple products online.
Find a complete list of Massachusetts sugarhouses and facts about sugaring on the Massachusetts Maple Association website.
Cook with Maple
CHAMPNEYS INDIAN PUDDING
A COLONIAL TREAT FROM THE DEERFIELD INN
1 Quart Milk
1\3 cup cornmeal
1\4 teaspoon cinnamon
1\8 teaspoon ginger
1\8 teaspoon nutmeg
2\3 cup molasses
1\3 Maple syrup
1 ounce butter
Heat milk in a double boiler until skin forms. Whisk in cornmeal, sugar, and spices. Cook until thickened, stirring occasionally, Add molasses and maple syrup, heat thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs, whisk in egg mixture to original mixture. Add butter to the mix. Pour mix into the baking dish.
Bake at 350 in a water bath until set 1 - 1 1\2 hours. Baking time is determined by the size of the baking dish.
While you are here, take some time to enjoy the private and relaxing intimacy that New England has to offer plus add some beer to the mix.
Work off your maple breakfast with some winter adventure in Franklin County.