This weekend, people are lining up to visit maple farms across New York state to celebrate one of the sweetest sides of agriculture.
Spanning four days over two weekends, the state-wide celebration is known as Maple Weekend. It gives the public an opportunity to see firsthand how maple syrup and other maple products are made.
Wolf Maple Products in Middleport is hosting free events today and Sunday as well as next weekend, March 25 and March 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, to spotlight what producer Jason Wolf describes as a “stellar year” for maple production.
Wolf and his wife Heidi acquired their maple farm off Chestnut Ridge Road in 1999 and have been participating in Maple Weekend festivities for the past 18 years. This year, Wolf’s is the only farm in Niagara County participating in Maple Weekend.
Jason Wolf credits the weather during winter 2022-2023, with its extended periods of both warmer and colder temperatures, for an increase in production.
“I call it a bumper crop because of those temperature changes. Ups and downs are great for the maple industry,” he said.
Wolf began tapping his trees in February and saw some good, early runs of sap. He’s expecting this maple season to last about eight weeks, longer than usual.
During Maple Weekend, the Wolfs will be giving tours of their farm and sugarhouse and tractor rides to the woods. Maple products for takeaway or consumption on the spot will be sold.
Apart from maple syrup, one of Wolf Maple Products’ most popular offerings is its homemade maple-glazed doughnut. This Maple Weekend, the operating is debuting Poffertjes, also known as Dutch mini pancakes, which are served with maple cream and maple sugar.
In addition to celebrating maple farming and selling their products, Maple Weekend serves as a vehicle for educating people about agriculture, Heidi Wolf said.
“If there’s no farmers there’s no food. Of course, we’ve got the sweet end of the deal, but everybody needs to know where their food comes from,” she said.
Wolf Maple syrup is sold at several local restaurants and businesses including Gordie Harper’s Bazaar in Newfane, Zoe Restaurant in East Amherst and the Delaware North concessions and gift shops at Niagara Falls State Park.
Wolf Maple Products is supplying the real maple syrup for three fundraising community pancake breakfasts this weekend and next:
• All-you-can-eat breakfast by the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of Gasport and Middleport will be served at Middleport Fire Department, 28 Main St., from 7 a.m. to noon Sunday.
• All-you-can-eat breakfast at the Shelby Volunteer Fire Company hall, 4677 S. Gravel Road, Medina, is on from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
• All-you-can-eat breakfast at Hartland Volunteer Fire Company hall, 8945 Ridge Road, Gasport, is scheduled from 8 a.m. to noon March 26.