From the Farm Blog

Let the Tapping Begin! Madava Farms Prepares for Sap Season

Things are really getting hectic at Madava Farms right now as we prepare for our favorite time of year - tapping season. Everything from equipment to plans are being checked over twice to ensure things will run smoothly when the sap really begins to flow. Right now we’re experiencing a short warm spell that is actually helping to prime the trees. This is always a stressful time for sugar makers – do we tap now or wait?

Tapping season has arrived at Madava Farms, home of Crown Maple SyrupOur production goals each year depend upon the sugar content of the sap we will receive. Good, hard freezes help raise the sugar content, while menial ones do not produce as much. An average to great year will yield us between a quart and a ½ gallon of finished product per taphole. With the increase in our sales this year thanks to our visitors and customers, we will need every drop. If things go as planned, we will completely be tapped out in a quick 2 ½ weeks.

Thanks to the extra sunshine, we have decided to wait until this week to begin our tapping, and make sure we let this warm spell slide by. The forecast is for cooler temperatures coming in – finally!

Join Us this Weekend at Madava Farms for our Final Events of the Year

2012 has been an exciting year at Madava Farms, the Home of Crown Maple. Now open to visitors, the farm is a flurry of activity year round and we enjoyed welcoming our first guests this fall. Madava Farms will be open for one final weekend this Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8-9, before taking a short break to ensure that each tap is perfectly placed to catch every drop of 100% pure maple from the forest this winter.

The Crown Maple harvest promises to be extra special this year - for the first time we'll be able to share the experience with you! The farm will reopen for visits, maple tours, harvest activities and lunch on Saturdays and Sundays, beginning Saturday, February 2. While we can't guarantee the sap will be flowing for syrup making on any specific day, a delicious lunch and exquisite desserts always await in The Farm Stand.

Until then, here are some great ideas for spending a festive day at the farm.

December 8 & 9 at 11 am, 1 pm & 3 pm
Culinary Maple Tour & Tasting

Fall Day at Madava Farms

With the opening of Madava Farms for tours and events this month, I've been seeking out feedback from our visitors on their experience. After reading this report, you'll understand why I'm proud of our first month and looking forward to hosting many more guests in the seasons to come.

This Sunday I had the pleasure of escaping the city and sneaking away to Madava Farms, home of Crown Maple Syrup, in the Hudson Valley. The quick hour and a half drive up the Taconic State Parkway bursts with colorful fall foliage and charming red barns.

Raspberry Fields Forever

RaspberriesWhen you're lucky enough to have access to an 800-acre wooded playground, surprises are around every bend. A few weeks ago Madava's farmer, Scott Boggs, and I hopped on ATVs to run up to the property's highest elevation, Mount Tom Stein. Over the roar of the motors he shouted for us to stop, having spied a sweet surprise hidden on the hillside: wild black raspberries. Not your typical farmer's market fare, this rare native variety features an intense black color, amazing scent and thorns that are no joke. They typically ripen about a month before their more well-known scarlet cousins and most commonly thrive in outer pockets of forest here in the Northeast.

A Birdwatcher's View of Crown Maple -- Year 2

Last year, I introduced you to Alan Jennings, an old family friend and avid "birder." Alan and his wife, Denise, had spent a weekend birdwatching and staying at our cabin at Crown Maple Farm. Alan wrote about the experience in a blog post that many of our readers commented on. I invited Alan and Denise to come back this year and here is their report. Enjoy!

Robb and Lydia, in addition to investing in the rural area of Dover Plains, New York, creating jobs and other economic opportunities, have made a commitment to sustainable growth, making top-shelf-quality syrup through organic practices, as well as preserving hundreds of acres of old-growth maple forest. 

Wood Ducks are often seen at Crown Maple FarmAnd nobody appears to be benefitting more than our fine feathered friends.  If our birds are the proverbial canary in the coal mine, then Dover Plains is doing just fine. 

I was asked to come back to the woods where Crown Maple Syrup begins in order to document the migration of birds moving through those woods. Well, uh, let me think about that. OK, let's see, uh, I'll be there in three hours!

Chef’s Challenge Winners Create Culinary Magic with Crown Maple Syrup

Many of the Hudson Valley’s finest chefs responded to our challenge to create an appetizer, entrée, dessert or cocktail using Crown Maple Syrup and feature it on their Restaurant Week menu. The wide range of recipes submitted demonstrated not only the sheer inventiveness of these chefs but also the versatility of Crown Maple Syrup as a culinary ingredient.

As a member of the judging panel, I can report that selecting the award winners was a challenge in its own right. The creativity and talent of our region’s chefs was most impressive. Here are the well-deserved award winners:

Entrée (Gold Crown Award Winner)
Maple Brined Grilled Pork Chops with Calvados Demi-Glace and Maple-Bacon Almonds; Chef Josh Kroner, Terrapin Restaurant

Cocktails (Silver Crown Prize)
Crown Maple Mack & Jack Cocktail; Justin Montgomery, Harper's Restaurant

Appetizers
Salad of Heirloom Beets with Whipped Ricotta, Crown Maple, Pistachio Oil & Candied Pecans; Chef James Kelly, Restaurant X and Bully Boy Bar

Desserts
Crown Maple Pannacotta; Chef Pasquale Dedi, Zuppa Restaurant

Ramps Signal Beginning of Spring Vegetable Season

After a long winter with little local fresh produce early spring vegetable are a nice way to liven up the menu both at home and while out at restaurants and nothing really says spring like ramps.

Ramps growing at Madava FarmsAllium tricoccum, also known as wild leeks, is one of the first signs of spring. Throughout the mountains of the Eastern United States from North Carolina and Tennessee to Canada and west to Missouri and Wisconsin, ramps grow naturally under a forest canopy of beech, birch, sugar maple, and poplar. While ramps have a short growing season, around a month, they are really the transition to our more common local spring vegetables that will be showing up at the market very soon. They have a flavor similar to onions and garlic with a slightly musty undertone.

Discover Crown Maple in Unexpected Places: Hudson Valley Restaurant Week

The pure taste and clean balance of Crown Maple Syrup has gained a reputation among chefs and discerning consumers who delight in the subtle, delicious flavors and the smooth finish it leaves on the palette; characteristics formerly unexpected when describing maple syrup. It only stands to reason that syrup this unique keeps turning up is some rather unexpected places.

You’ll find Crown Maple Syrup tucked inside tantalizing menu offerings at more than two dozen Hudson Valley-area restaurants through March 31st. Indulge in a Crown Maple glazed smoked pork belly with corn polenta and micro mustard greens appetizer; a pan-seared salmon entre enhanced by Crown Maple citronette; Crown Maple spice cake accompanied by Bourbon-Mascarpone cream, apple-fig compote and salted caramel sauce; or a Mack & Jack cocktail made from Hudson 4-Grain bourbon and Crown Maple Syrup, infused with fresh sage and orange zest.

Crown Maple Chef's Challenge

New Cork Tops Distinctive Crown Maple Bottles

Bottles of Crown Maple Syrup now feature a new, synthetic cork specially designed for easier opening and resealing. Credit for the new cork goes to our customers who suggested the idea along with other great feedback we’ve received through our website and Facebook pages.

New Cork Tops Distinctive Crown Maple BottlesSome customers told us they experienced trouble reopening our bottles after storing them in the refrigerator (where all pure maple syrup should be stored after opening). In addition to opening more smoothly, the new cork is stronger and shorter to eliminate the potential for breakage that can happen with the original, natural corks.

If you have trouble reopening your Crown Maple Syrup, here are a couple of tips:

Tapping into our Second Season at Crown Maple

The sap is running early this year and our field teams are working quickly to finish tapping as we enter our second maple syrup production season at Crown Maple Farm.

So far, more than 23,000 taps have been installed and we won’t stop until we reach 30,000 taps in place, making Crown Maple the leading maple syrup producer in New York. While we’re thrilled to have become one of New York’s largest, our primary focus continues to be producing the purest maple syrup on Earth.

From the Farm Blog

From the Farm provides updates on how the Crown Maple team is turning sap from the some of the most regal maple trees into quite possibly the purest maple syrup on earth. The Crown Maple team shares their insight into maple sugaring, the latest maple syrup production techniques, life in the sugarbush, conserving the land and sustainable forestry. Interested in more? Subscribe to receive updates.

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47 McCourt Road, Dover Plains NY 12522
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