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Fall Day at Madava FarmsSubmitted by Robb on October 25, 2012 - 8:40am
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.
Upon arrival at Madava Farms, I’m greeted by orange pumpkins, bales of hay and birch candles beautifully decorating their sugarhouse and instantly putting me in an autumnal mood. At the Farm Stand, the onsite eatery, I can’t resist ordering a latte sweetened with Crown Maple’s newest product – maple sugar! Waiting for my tour to begin, I peruse The Farm Stand’s other offerings - beautifully wrapped Mast Brothers' chocolate bars, Haven’s Kitchen Crown Maple-infused granola, cookbooks by chefs like the Spotted Pig’s April Bloomfield, and, of course, bottles of Crown Maple’s signature syrups.
Promptly at 11 a.m., my tour of Crown Maple’s inner workings begins in the ‘Mural Room.’ My tour guide, Eli, explains that Crown Maple worked with a local artist to create the exquisite map detailing the 800 acres of Madava Farms. For the next half an hour my group is led around the impressive facilities of Crown Maple as we learn how the sap from over 30,000 sugar and red maples makes its way from the maple groves to the Sugarhouse, and is then transformed from a seemingly water-like substance to the sticky sweet maple syrup I so love to drizzle on my pancakes – and dip the occasional strip of bacon!
The tour ends in Crown Maple’s Tasting Room, with views into the bottling room and gorgeous taphole maple trees used in the construction. Eli leads us through three different tastes using Crown Maple – to start, a simple sample of the pure dark amber maple syrup, then drizzled on a cracker with fresh chevre from the local Hudson Valley cheese producer Sprout Creek Farm. And, lastly, a nibble of the silky Mast Brothers' Crown Maple chocolate bar.
Although my tour is over, my experience at Crown Maple is not, Madava Farms talented farmer Scott Boggs has offered to give me an inside look at Madava’s football field-sized vegetable garden. With leaves crunching under our feet, Scott leads me through rows of chicories, eggplant, peppers, asparagus and raspberries – suspecting a freeze that night, Scott informs me that he plans to harvest the bulk of the eggplant and peppers to be used at The Farm Stand and pickled for enjoyment throughout the winter. Exiting the garden, we leisurely hike up on of the many maple-lined paths on Madava’s property, passing by picturesque ponds surrounded by the mighty trees, that leads us to a magnificent viewing point, overlooking all the Hudson Valley’s trees decked out in their autumn best.
Hungry from my day’s trek, I stop back at The Farm Stand for a warm and delicious lunch of Butternut Squash Soup with maple pecans and a Grilled Cheddar and Apple Sandwich with a delicious salad made of beets and greens.
With my bag full of souvenirs – a trio of Crown Maple syrups, a sack of Early Bird’s Crown Maple Granola, and, even a bag full of peppers and chicories fresh from the vegetable garden – I make my way back to the city, excited to bring some of my day at Madava Farms home with me.
If you'd like to share feedback from your visit to Madava Farms, please visit Crown Maple on Facebook.
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.