There and Back Again: Two Sisters in Manhattan

The alarm clock screeches. It’s 3:00am. For some very strange reason, people often imagine “country life” consisting of late mornings and lattes. Anyone who knows me will agree that I’m all for that kind of gracious morning, but it’s really not farm-life reality. We’re headed to Union Square market today and that means we’ll have to arrive by 7am to beat city traffic and have our tent set up by starting time. Becca grabs the coffee. She offers to drive, but since my sister is even less of a morning person than I am, I insist on taking the wheel. I can’t call it kindness on my part. More like self-preservation.

The valleys are dark and so are the roads. The only light comes from our van’s headlights, forging a path on roads that curve along the mountain contours. Eventually, we merge onto the highway, joining an ever-growing herd of vans and semis ready to feed The City. Flour trucks are ready to dump clouds of white into bakery basements; finger-lake vineyards prepare to offer their wines to upper-end parties. We join the crowd with our maple syrup.

By 6:30am Becca is able to stay awake for 30 second intervals and helps me find the new exit off of the highway. New Yorkers — despite the bad rap they get — kindly slow to let our van take a quick turn. A few more stop lights and we’re at Union Square.

New York is known as the city that never sleeps, yet at this time of the morning it feels like a reluctant child; not quite wanting to wake, but when it does, full of energy. A few other people can be seen nailing away on construction projects, or heading out clutching gym bags, bright running shoes contrasting with the cobblestones. Other farmers set up their wares, displaying heirloom tomatoes, sheep-milk cheese and cool apple cider. It will sell quickly on this muggy day.

We cheerily declare our presence by setting up our maple-leaf emblazoned tent. Cotton candy is strung along ropes and displayed out front. All of it will be gone by evening. We arrange syrup-filled glassware to catch the sun (and to attract pedestrians’ eyes).

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It’s almost starting time, which means it’s no longer dark and people can actually see us. We take turns in the van fixing our hair and trying to look like we got more than four hours of sleep. Thankfully, we blend in with the other sleepy people as they catch the subway to work. They grab maple treats to add pizzazz to their day.

Part way through the morning I run off and find a GMO-filled breakfast sandwich, nobly saving the market’s natural products for customers (of course . . . ).

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Becca takes a short stroll to find food, too. While she’s gone a school field trip descends on me and with it comes a feeling of slight panic. It’s not that I’m unused to young kids, but it’s a challenge to keep up with customers, explain the sugaring process, and hand out samples of cotton candy to 30 students, all while making sure they don’t triple dip. (Uh, I mean double dip.) Their teacher kindly agrees to come back once Becca returns. And, sure enough, Becca capably saves the day and becomes every child’s hero. We find out later we’re the students’ favorite tent. We’d like to think it’s due to our winning personalities, but it’s probably because everyone loves free spoonfuls of maple cream.

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The afternoon is full of explaining the difference between light, medium and dark syrup, between grade A and grade B, and suggesting various uses for our products. The crowd trickles and surges. Farmers trade produce and product. Heels get taller and clothes more formal. We start feeling a little more sleepy.

Tourists also stop by. Although I usually can’t understand what’s being said, I imagine their conversations going something like this: “oh, look, real rural American people out of their natural mountain habitat. Take many, many pictures.” Um, ok friends, time to buy some syrup. I’ve been on the other side of the camera, though, so really, I can’t say anything. When I do understand what’s going on, I’m usually asked the difference between syrup and honey, since maple is a North American curiosity.

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By the evening we gauge the traffic, the weather, and our sales, and decide to start packing up the van. We take things apart somewhat strategically, leaving enough maple products out until the last minute so that stragglers can grab a jug of syrup on their commute home. Becca is an expert tent-folder and car-packer, so it takes little time to have things neatly packed and ready to go.

One of the market-workers helps us back our van into traffic. We turn right at the third stop sign and head for the hills.

 

Nutritional Information

Did you know that maple syrup contains an abundance of naturally occurring minerals? It has been proven that maple syrup contains many minerals, such as calcium, manganese, potassium and magnesium. Also, much like bananas and broccoli, it’s a natural source of antioxidants.

Researches have said that antioxidants can help prevent cancer, lower blood pressure, support the immune system, and even slow the effects of aging! Maple syrup contains many additional nutrients, and has one of the lowest calorie levels of any common sweetener.

Researchers have found that maple syrup contains large amounts of phenolic compounds; these compounds are commonly found in plants, blueberries, tea, red wine and flax seed.

So why not satisfy that sweet tooth of yours with some good old fashioned, naturally tapped maple syrup from Roxbury Mountain?

What is the Shelf-Life of Maple Syrup?

Since we properly fill and seal our containers, our maple syrup is good for years! Once you open and start using our great tasting maple syrup, it will keep in the refrigerator for months, as it is a natural sugar and does not spoil.

The shelf-life for uncoated maple candy is about two weeks, on the shelf or in the refrigerator.

For coated maple candy, the shelf life is around six months when kept at room temperature; coated maple syrup candy should not be kept in the refrigerator.

The shelf-life for maple cream is about two months in the fridge, but you can also keep it frozen for a long period of time.

Because our maple syrup is so fresh and tasty you and your family will probably want to eat it right away; this blog is set up just as an FYI, in case you are able to fight the urge to eat all of our syrup in one sitting!

For more information, or to place an order please contact Roxbury Mountain Maple at 607-538-1500.

Burn Off Steam This Weekend

Still crying because you couldn’t make it to our last Maple Weekend? Dry you tears. We’re throwing open the doors to our sugar house this Saturday and Sunday and hope you’ll walk right in. The sap is running, which means you’ll get to try warm syrup right out of the evaporator.

These’s no better way to spend the weekend. We hope to see you! Stop in any time between 12 – 6PM.

You can do any and all of the following during your visit:

  • Sample award winning maple syrup.
  • Experience the process that goes into producing maple syrup.
  • Discover the woods where it all begins.
  • Enjoy free samples of delicious maple confections on homemade pastries.
  • Bring your kids. There is an adorable calf waiting to meet them.
  • Learn the craft behind candy-making.
  • Drink in the beauty of upstate New York. It’s worth the trip.
  •  Tour our state of the art sugar house.
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    More on Maple Weekend 2014

    The crew at Roxbury Mountain Maple learns more about the art of making maple syrup year by year. While many of you may not know too much about how this form of liquid gold is made, we are opening our doors to you this weekend, March 22-23, and next weekend,  March 29-30, offering you the chance to learn about the process.

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    Maple Syrup is only made for a couple of months each year, although this can vary drastically based on the weather.  You are always more than welcome to stop by our maple house anytime during the year, but we are officially unrolling the welcome mat this weekend and next! We are so excited to show our customers the process that goes into producing our delicious, all natural syrup.

     

    In fact, maple producers all over the region will be opening their sap houses to the public on the weekends of March 22-23 and March 29-30. This is an annual event, encouraging people to experience the camaraderie and fun of the maple season.

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    At Roxbury Mountain Maple we’ll be boiling off, giving tours of the sugar-bush and sap house, and serving free pastries and coffee in our charming country store.

    Our animals are usually a part of the fun, too, so be sure to bring your kids; you will get to enjoy the livestock, chickens, roosters, and other animals we raise at Roxbury Mountain Maple!

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    We’d invite Aunt Jemima, but she’s a little too embarrassed to show up.

    For more about the regional event, please visit: mapleweekend.com, or give Roxbury Mountain a call at 607-538-1500.

    Saturday and Sunday
    March 22-23, 2014.

    Saturday and Sunday
    March 29-30, 2014.

    New York Maple Weekend 2014

    It’s sugaring season, and sugar houses all over New York will be opening their doors to welcome guests March 22-23rd & 29-30th. You can go to the official Maple Weekend website for directions and further details at: http://www.mapleweekend.com/.

    Visit Roxbury Mountain Maple between 1:00PM and 7:00PM and enjoy fun activities and delicious, free samples. We hope you will stop by and make yourselves at home.

    While you are here:

    •  Tour our state of the art sugar house.
    • Sample award winning maple syrup.
    • Experience the process that goes into producing maple syrup.
    • Discover the woods where it all begins.
    • Enjoy free samples of delicious maple confections on homemade pastries.
    • Bring your kids. There is an adorable calf waiting to meet them.
    • Learn the craft behind candy-making.
    • Drink in the beauty of Upstate New York. It’s worth the trip.

    We Can’t Wait to See You!

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    Winter Woods

    A cold wind blows through the valley where the maples stand. Branches creak and groan in the frigid air; tossing trees clatter against one another. Brilliant sunlight flashes and dazzles from above, casting  shadows on the drifting snow.

    It won’t be long until the woods are filled with the tramp of the tappers. Drilling holes in the trees and connecting maple to maple, lacing the hillsides with blue lines. A motley crew: bearded, hooded, shielded from the wind that grasps at breath and leaves one gasping. The tapping goes on for several days–a week or more–until every mature maple is part of a vast organism. Soon, the sap will flow through the lines, coursing to the rythm of Spring’s new life.

    Soon, but until then, the hills lie silent, and the trees slumber. Flaming white snow lies undisturbed beneath the sun’s frigid glare.

     

    Pasture Raised Turkeys

    Pasture raised turkeys, free of medication and hormones, are available for order from Roxbury Mountain Maple. We grow these healthy birds on our farm, where they have acres to roam. Weights range from 12-24 lbs, but call today, as Thanksgiving is fast approaching and the smaller sizes will sell out quickly. Pick-up can be arranged at Union Square Market for the Monday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving.DSC_7504

    The New York Times

    Earlier this week, the New York Times featured our Maple Cotton Candy! Here is what they said about it:

    To Enjoy: A Sweet That’s Missing The Ferris Wheel

    “Don’t think of cotton candy as just a carnival treat. The spun-sugar confection has become a year-round snack, sold in supermarkets and online. And forget pink; this time of year you’re more likely to find it in beige, made with maple sugar. They give away gobs of maple cotton candy seasoned with cardamom to customers at BLT Fish, a restaurant in the Flatiron district. In the Greenmarkets, maple cotton candy is sold by maple syrup purveyors like Roxbury Mountain Maple and Wood Homestead. And in Chelsea Market, Liddabit Sweets spins it onto pretzel rods: $3 to $5 a portion at most places.”

    We are so excited and honored to be featured in the New York Times!IMG_0044_2

     

    Drive Change-Featuring our Maple Syrup!

    Coming soon this fall, Snowday , the first food truck from Drive Change, will be featuring an entirely maple menu , using syrup from Roxbury Mountain Maple. Savory maple roasted brussel sprouts, maple pulled pork sandwiches, and maple bacon donuts are only a few of the options they will have to offer.

    Drive Change is an organization in NYC that aims to give youth recently released from jail and prison a second chance. We look forward to collaborating with this worthwhile endeavor as they, “serve delicious, inspired, menus with a side of social justice.” Drive Change’s founder, Jordyn Lexington, has been featured in several stories, among them posts on Brooklyn Based, and The Huffington Post. Also, check out their face book page for updates on when Snowday will hit the road.

    For more information, or to try our maple syrup for yourself, click here, or give us a call at (607) 538-1500!