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Posted on Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 1:04 p.m.

Maple syrup lovers unite: March offers a chance to celebrate your favorite sweet treat

By Lisa Allmendinger

There will be multiple celebrations of maple syrup during March highlighted by festivals, how-to demonstrations and the first Waterloo Maple Festival.

Sandhill Crane Vineyards and the Eddy Discovery Center inside the Waterloo Recreation Area plan to highlight variations of the sweet treat in two locations on March 11.

From 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. there will be “Maple Syrup Making: From the Tree to the Pancake," at the Eddy Discovery Center, 17030 Bush Road in Chelsea. Naturalist Tom Jameson will share his techniques for do-it-yourself maple syrup making.

Following a viewing of the film “Maple Sugar Farmer,” he will lead a short walk to show how to identify maple trees and demonstrate proper tapping techniques. The cost is $2 per person or $5 per family. Advance registration is requested at 734- 475-3170.

Also on March 11, from noon to 6 p.m., Sandhill Crane Vineyards, 4724 Walz Road, in Jackson, will “Celebrate Sugar Snow at The Vineyards."

“A highlight of the Waterloo Maple Festival is the release of the 2011 vintage of Sugar Snow, Sandhill Crane Vineyards’ limited edition dessert wine, made with local maple sap and syrup,” according to the information about the event.

In addition, the winery’s café will feature sweet and savory dishes made with maple, including Sugar Snow Sorbet. Admission is free.

On March 17, a Maple Syrup Festival will take place at Dahlem Conservancy in Jackson. For more information call, 517-782-3453. On March 25, there will be a “Sugaring & Shearing Festival” at Ella Sharp Museum in Jackson. For information, call 517-787-2320.

Also in March, take maple syrup tours at McLennan Maple Syrup, 10950 M-52, Manchester. To schedule a tour, call 734-216- 2343 or email

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Sun, Feb 26, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

I know Kensington starts their maple sugar fest in March. They have this huge system out in the woods and you can watch them make maple syrup. Yum. They do sell it as well. I think there is another metropark around that does this. Love maple syrup.

Leah Gunn

Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

Closer to home, check out the Washtenaw County Parks web page - demonstration of making syrup March 10.


Sat, Feb 25, 2012 : 6:56 p.m.

Maple syrup lovers: now there's a REAL united group! Mmm, I was wondering if the mild winter might affect the sap runs this season. From memory, we used to wait until there had been a series of freeze-thaw cycles before tapping the trees. There doesn't seem to be much "freeze" to this year's season. Consumer tip: Those old enough will remember that Log Cabin brand syrup enjoyed success by adding just 10% real maple syrup to their product. Maple syrup is a very energy and labor intensive product, hence it's priced rather high. I've made it a practice to mix 50/50 real maple syrup with any good flavored corn syrup based brand. If anything, it helps thicken the syrup w/o diminishing the real maple flavor goodness, and cuts the cost considerably. Other: it's possible (I've done it) to tap silver maples for your maple syrup. The big drawback is that it takes more boiling to reduce the sap to syrup or maple sugar.