I know this will be hard to imagine, but even after all these years of living in Maine, I have actually never gone to one of our many sugar shacks on Maine Maple Sunday. It has always been on my list, but every year something else seems to creep up and we just never make it to one of the area farms. This year was gearing up to be even less likely since Maine Maple Sunday fell on Easter, but it actually ended up working out perfectly since our family plans were later in the day.
Maine Maple Sunday is always held on the fourth Sunday in March. Sugarhouses throughout the state open up that day and host a variety of activities related to maple syrup production. The Maine Maple Producers Association posted a map listing all the locations that were planning events for the day. The list was pretty long but that’s not surprising. Maine is the third largest producer of maple syrup in the United States according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Merriam-Webster defines a sugarhouse as “a building where sugar is made or refined; specifically : one where maple sap is boiled and maple syrup and maple sugar are made“. I define it as a place to go and try some delicious maple syrup and other maple treats.
We decided to head to Coopers Royal Heritage Farm which, in addition to producing Coopers Maple Products, shows and breeds miniature horses. They were hosting a pancake breakfast as well as a tour of their sugarhouse. The farm was also open so that you could visit their other animals including cattle and peafowl. (I’m excited that I got to use the word peafowl in a blog post.)
We arrived around 9:00 AM and fortunately, while busy, the lines weren’t bad so we were able to get our pancake breakfast and find a place to sit. From everything I’ve read, and if the police that were directing traffic when we arrived are any indication, lines can get really crazy on Maine Maple Sunday, so we were happy to be able to grab breakfast without a wait. It’s a pretty basic meal with pancakes and a side of sausage or bacon. The real star of the show is the maple syrup which is always yummy.
After finishing our breakfast, we headed to the barn to see the miniature horses. They are so cute. It’s definitely easy to hang out in the barn just watching these adorable little horses. But, eventually we moved on. The rest of the animals are located up a long, circular dirt road. There was a little bit of mud but, for this time of year, it wasn’t too bad. It was worth the walk and we got to see an adorable newborn calf.
After visiting the rest of the animals, we toured the sugarhouse. The person running it was really pleasant and gave us a lot of information on how they produce their maple syrup. They’re a fairly small farm and still use wood to heat and boil the sap. It smelled so good in the sugarhouse. At the end of the tour, they also gave out samples of vanilla ice cream with maple syrup on top. If you’ve never tried this before, I highly recommend it. So good!
We left the sugarhouse but only after buying a half-gallon of maple syrup, maple cotton candy, maple lollipops, and a bottle of honey which is also produced on the farm. It was a sweet haul, and I especially love supporting our local farmers.
I enjoyed our morning trip to Coopers and am so glad that we finally went out for Maine Maple Sunday. It’s definitely something I’ll do again in the future. It’s really worth the trip.
|things to know|
|Coopers Royal Heritage Farm||81 Chute Road, Windham, ME 04062|
|Website||Coopers Maple Products|
|Maine Maple Sunday||Date: Fourth Sunday in March|
|Favorite ♥||Vanilla Ice Cream with Maple Syrup|
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