WORTHINGTON, Mass. (WWLP) - March is Massachusetts Maple Month, and at farms across the state, trees are being tapped for the sap that's made into sugar and sweet syrups.
At the Red Bucket Sugar Shack in Worthington, a tree in the interior of their restaurant was ceremoniously tapped to celebrate the beginning of the month that raises awareness of the $3 million industry. Massachusetts is home to about 300 maple producers, and is actually the nation's eighth-largest producer of maple syrup.
"In the town of Worthington, we almost made 10,000 gallons of syrup between the three big producers in the town; which is kind of amazing," Jeff Mason of the Red Bucket Sugar Shack said.
"I think many people are surprised in many aspects of Massachusetts agriculture, where we rank in terms of a lot of the products we produce. We do a little ranking chart if people go our site on the web and take a look, and see that we actually do very well in a number of areas, including maple sugar," Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner Greg Watson said.
The sap isn't running quite yet here in western Massachusetts because it's a little too cold, but producers are ready. Mason said that he has about 50 miles of plastic tubing to collect the sap; that's about enough to stretch to Springfield and part of the way back.