Visitors gather outside the Harris Farm sugarhouse in Dayton looking to buy maple syrup products on Sunday. Harris Farm was one of many maple syrup manufacturers to open their doors to the public for Maine Maple Sunday. RYDER SCHUMACHER/JournalTribune

Visitors gather outside the Harris Farm sugarhouse in Dayton looking to buy maple syrup products on Sunday. Harris Farm was one of many maple syrup manufacturers to open their doors to the public for Maine Maple Sunday. RYDER SCHUMACHER/JournalTribune

YORK COUNTY — After another passing of the annual Maine Maple Sunday, one thing remains clear, Maine loves its syrup.

People packed participating sugarhouses and farmsteads around York County as residents came out to learn about, purchase and sample all things maple.

Sap boils in the evaporator at the Harris Farm sugarhouse on Sunday. RYDER SCHUMACHER/JournalTribune

Sap boils in the evaporator at the Harris Farm sugarhouse on Sunday. RYDER SCHUMACHER/JournalTribune

Farms welcoming visitors included Brookeline Boilers in Lyman, Dunn Family Maple in Buxton, Hilltop Boilers in Newfield and Maple Farm House in Waterboro, amongst various others.

Some of the larger farms in York County, like Chase Farm in North Berwick and Harris Farm in Dayton, saw hundreds — if not thousands — of visitors.

Even some smaller farms, like Douston Maple and Honey in Arundel, had cars filling their parking lots and lining the roads as locals took part in the special Sunday that takes place in Maine every year on the last Sunday of March.

“The northeast is where all this great maple syrup comes from and it’s cool to be a part of it. This is our 29th season being part of Maine Maple Sunday,” said Keith Harris, head of maple production at Harris Farm.

Harris said despite the farms various produce, it takes extra pride in its maple products, and seeing people’s appreciation for the amber elixir and weekend in general is great to see.

“Everything we do here is seasonal, and maple syrup is a great thing to do in between things like the cross country skiing and the vegetables,” said Harris. “Maple weekend is a great weekend to get people in the community out to see what we do.”

Others at Harris farm shared a similar sentiment toward the weekend as a whole. Cheryl Corrao and her son Michael attended Harris Farm for their first time Sunday, but they had attended Maple Syrup Sunday for all Michael’s life.

“We are big on the Maple syrup weekend, we just love the cool events and getting out, we just love it,” said Corrao. “We’ve been doing it since Michael was a little baby. So we find ourselves hitting different farms a lot of the time, but this is the first time we’ve done Harris Farm.”

She added that it’s nice to see the people celebrating a tradition that’s concentrated to the region.

“Not only is it nice that we get to celebrate this in the northeast, but you get to see people out and enjoying what the area has to offer. It’s amazing to see how many people come through,” she said.

Over at Douston Maple and Honey, visitors enjoyed samples of maple ice cream as they watched the maple boiling process close up.

Cathy Kremer and her family, who reside in the Biddeford area, said they have been taking part in Maple Sunday for ages, but this year they enjoyed the small-scale intimacy experienced at Douston Maple and Honey.

“The first or second year of Maple Sunday there were only a few farms opened to it, that was almost 20 years ago. But then about 10 years ago we did it again and went much further northwest from here. This time we decided to stick closer to home,” said Kremer. “This was one of the better areas we’ve been to. It isn’t as packed, which is nice.”

If anything was certain at Sunday’s end, it was that people enjoy the real stuff.

“There’s no comparison, real maple syrup is the only way to go,” said Harris.

Kremer agreed.

“I wouldn’t ever eat that artificial stuff, I wouldn’t put it on anything.”

— Staff Writer Ryder Schumacher can be reached at 282-1535, or via email at [email protected]


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