West Virginia sugar shacks celebrate Mountain State Maple Days

WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – Sugar shacks across West Virginia are celebrating the fifth annual Mountain State Maple Days.

Occurring on Saturday the 19th both in February and in March, maple days brings attention to one of the state’s sweetest industries, maple syrup.

The days come right at the peak of maple syrup production, as colder weather is an essential part of the process.

“Most people in our area start tapping around the first of February,” says Gray Farms owner, Micheal Gray.

“It’s all weather-related, so it usually runs for about 6 weeks till about the middle of March when the weather starts to warm up too much, that’s the end of the season,” he says.

Gray Farms in Clarksburg, WV is just one of the sugar shacks in the state that is opening its doors to the public Saturday to show off the process of how maple syrup is made.

Gray has been collecting sap from maple trees and boiling it in the evaporator to make the syrup for nearly nine years now. He says it’s an industry that seems to be growing around the state.

“It’s amazing when you get out and talk to people how many people are actually making it, maybe small-scale, some people are large-scale, but there is a lot of people out there that are making it.”

According to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, while the state saw a loss of maple syrup production between 2020 and 2021, the total number of syrup taps increased by 2,000, making for a current total of 77,000 taps in the state.

The next maple day will be held on Saturday, March 19.

To learn more about maple syrup production in the mountain state you can visit Gray Farms on their Facebook page or visit West Virginia’s Maple Syrup Association.

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