HANCOCK, Mass. (WWLP) – Maple sugaring season in Massachusetts has begun for a sugarhouse in Berkshire County.
According to Massachusetts Maple Producers Association, sugarmakers are catching early runs and making their first batches of pure maple syrup.
In a newsletter sent to 22News, Ioka Valley Farm located on Route 41 in Hancock has started. They will begin serving pancakes, waffles, and french toast with their own maple syrup this weekend from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The history of Ioka Valley Farm goes back to the year 1936. Robert and Dorothy Lead drove cattle over Brodie Mountain from Lanesboro and were settled on the property they named Ioka Valley, a Native American word meaning “beautiful.” The Leab family continues the farming tradition with horses and cattle. The third generation now offers Christmas trees, pumpkins, strawberries, and maple syrup. In 1997, the calf barn was converted into the “Calf-A” serving meals during the sugar season.
Ioka Valley Farm sells its beef and maple products online. For example, a pound of ground beef sells for $8.25, London Broil for $10 a pound, and Porterhouse for $20 a pound. A quart of Amber or Dark Syrup is $25 a quart, and granulated maple sugar for $17.50 a pound.
The weather plays a big role in the success of maple sugaring. Temperatures need to be around 30 degrees at night, just above freezing, and mid 40’s during the day, for the sap to run.