Visitors Flock to Sugar Houses

DERBY - The record warm weather caused the maple sap to stop flowing early in the season, but many producers still participated in the annual Maple Open House Weekend event, which provides an opportunity for visitors to get an up-close tour of boiling sap into syrup.Jessica and Jaret Judd of Deer Ridge Maple in Derby participated in the weekend. The sap stopped flowing into their sugar house, but they kept the equipment going to keep it clean and in case it begins to flow again, they said. For the weekend they boiled water, which created steam over the sugar house. They had many visitors from all over for the weekend event. The Judd’s trucked in snow from their land in Holland and were able to keep the sugar on snow party they have every year.They have about half the crop of maple syrup compared to last year.Jessica and Jaret both have full time jobs and produce maple syrup in their spare time, Jessica explained. “We know this industry is weather dependent,” she said.