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""This is a guest blog post from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), written by Program Coordinator Julia Grimaldi.

Did you know that March is maple sugaring season? Maple syrup is an important crop for many Massachusetts farmers and is one of the season’s first agricultural harvests.

The Massachusetts Maple Economy

Visiting a maple sugarhouse is an essential Massachusetts experience. Maple “sugaring” dates back to as early as 1609. Today, the Bay State has approximately 300 maple producers, who make about 75,000 gallons a year — worth more than $4 million. On top of that, roughly 60,000 visitors spend $2 million during sugaring season each March and April. Buying Massachusetts maple syrup is important not only to the local economy but also to the environment. Maple producers preserve more than 15,000 acres of open space.

The process for making this sweet treat is fascinating. About 10 gallons of maple sap is needed to make just one quart of maple syrup. That takes the average maple tree about a month to produce.

Visit a Maple Sugar Shack

During maple sugaring season, many sugar shacks host special events and welcome visitors. When you visit, you’ll see traditional maple syrup evaporators boiling away — you may even learn how to make syrup at home! In addition, you can head to some local sugarhouses (using the handy MassGrown map) year round to purchase tasty local syrup.

Share this post with family and friends, and follow @MassGov for more updates on fun around the Bay State.

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