March 23, 2022
The tradition of Maine Maple Sunday is a capstone to the spring maple sugaring season, and one of the highlights of Maine’s agricultural calendar. On the fourth Sunday every March, many farms and sugar houses open their doors for a day of maple syrup samples, demonstrations on how syrup is made, snacks, activities and more. Maine Maple Sunday is a statewide celebration of this iconic Maine agricultural product, which has been cultivated in Maine since long before European colonists arrived in North America. Harvesting the sweet sap of the maple tree is an Indigenous food gathering method, and there are some Indigenous-owned maple syrup businesses owned by Wabanaki people in Maine (Passamaquoddy Maple) and Canada (Wabanaki Maple).
In addition to being one of Maine’s unique agricultural products, maple syrup is also a crucial part of Maine’s agricultural economy. Because maple syrup season is different from the season of many agricultural products, farms can use the income from maple syrup to sustain their business until their other crops are ready to harvest. In fact, some maple producers make as much as half of their yearly income on Maine Maple Sunday alone.
Trees, including maples, are also a powerful storage vessel for carbon, which is increasingly important in the face of climate change. Through photosynthesis, trees pull carbon out of the air and use it to build their trunks, roots and branches, as well as the underground network of microorganisms that these trees support. By adding economic value to a forest, maple trees used to make syrup are a powerful force working against climate change as well.
Many Forever Farms produce maple syrup, and thriving maple syrup businesses protect the farm and forest land that they occupy and drive rural economies forward. By supporting Maine’s maple syrup farms on Maine Maple Sunday and year-round, we can help strengthen the long-term viability of agriculture in Maine.
Here are the members of MFT’s Farm Network who are participating in Maine Maple Sunday in 2022. Are you a farm who’s not listed? Contact us at email@example.com and we’ll add you!
Jillson’s Farm & Sugarhouse, Sabbatus (get directions): Jillson’s Farm has been a Forever Farm since 2020, and they produce many products in addition to maple syrup, including vegetables and pickles. This year, they are opening their sugarhouse and store from 8 AM to 5 PM, and they are offering a takeout pancake and sausage breakfast as well as maple ice cream, maple donuts and a variety of other maple products!
Goranson Farm, Dresden (get directions): Goranson Farm participated in MFT’s Business of Farming program, which pairs farmers with business experts and other growers to analyze their business model to help the farmers grow a more successful business. Goranson Farm grows organic vegetables as well as making maple syrup! This year, they are planning a smaller event from 9 AM to 3 PM on Maine Maple Sunday, with a “walk through” sugarhouse tour and free maple sundaes. They’ll also have donuts, cookies and maple nuts for sale in addition to syrup and vegetables. Weather permitting, they hope to have kids activities as well.
Sheepscot General Store & Farm, Whitefield (get directions): The second Forever Farm on our list, Sheepscot General has been a Forever Farm since 2004. This year, they’ll be celebrating Maine Maple Weekend on both Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 3 PM, and they’re planning to serve vanilla ice cream with maple syrup and maple cookies, along with having other maple goodies available for purchase. Of course, the titular store will also be open!
A Wrinkle in Thyme Farm, Sumner (get directions): Although A Wrinkle in Thyme is not a Forever Farm, they are part of MFT’s Farm Network, as they are also current participants in MFT’s Business of Farming programs. They’ll be open from 10 AM to 4 PM on Maple Sunday, with boiling sap and farm tours. Rumor has it they’re also expecting some lambs, who may be in attendance as well!
To see the full list of participating producers and find one near you, check out the full list here. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating Maine Maple Sunday and supporting the maple producers who are such a vital part of the future of farming in Maine.