Beechwood Farms in Fox Chapel to host Maple Madness
The harsh winter hasn't slowed the sap flowing at Beechwood Farms, which is set to host its Maple Madness this weekend.
The family-geared event will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 22, at the 134-acre property along Dorseyville Road.
Cost is $6 for members and $10 for nonmembers. Children younger than 2 can attend for free.
“Guests start with a pancake brunch that features pure maple syrup,” said Beechwood spokesperson Rachel Handel.
“Many kids who come to the event have never tried pure maple syrup — they've been raised on store-bought bottled brands.
“When they taste the real thing, their eyes light up.”
Beechwood Farms, headquarters of the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, has been hosting Maple Madness for nearly 20 years.
The aim is to educate the public on the history of maple sugaring and the many ways syrup has been used throughout the years. Participants can take a guided hike where actors dressed as pioneers dole out lessons.
There are also stops where the audience can get a first-hand look at taps drilled into trees and the buckets of syrup beneath them.
Handel said the sap is the same consistency as water.
“It isn't very sweet,” Handel said. “It has to be placed in an evaporator where the excess water is steamed away before it turns into pure maple syrup.”
Tapping the trees does no damage, Handel said.
In some areas across the state, the taps aren't flowing quite as fast. The bitter cold winter slowed the season, but milder temperatures are expected to help producers catch up. Maple season lasts up to 10 weeks each spring.
“This time of year can always be tricky,” she said. “A few years ago, the event was held on a warm and sunny day. This year it's gone from 10 degrees one day to 50 the next.”
Pennsylvania is fifth in the nation for taps and production, with about 60,000 gallons of syrup generated last year.
Proceeds from the Beechwood event support the Audubon's mission to connect people to birds and nature.
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.