What makes Vermont a sweet' destination? Maple sugaring of course! Every year as the days warm up and the night temperatures drop to freezing, the start of maple sugaring is upon us. For the last 12 years, Vermont has celebrated Maple Sugaring Weekend the last weekend in March. During this weekend celebration, most sugarhouses host some sort of celebratory event either partaking in taste testing, participating in the process of sap gathering, learning the history of this art or watching the process taking place with modern equipment. Many places also offer sugar on snow if enough snow is still in supply.According to vermontmaple.org, over 1 million gallons of maple syrup was produced in Vermont in 2011 and it is Vermonts first agricultural crop of each year. Native people used to collect the clear sap of the maple tree and boil it down into hard bricks of sugar. Today, this is a generational art, passed down from Native Vermonters to their children and grandchildren. While the equipment and gathering techniques have changed for some over the years from metal sap buckets and metal taps using horses and sleighs/wagons, to more modern plastic tubing and large evaporators and arches; you can still find some who prefer to stay with the older techniques. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service , Vermont remained the top maple state in New England and the nation, producing 39% of the United States maple syrup. Southern Vermont has numerous sugarhouses that are open to the public. Included in this list are: Plummers Sugarhouse 2866 Townshend Road, Grafton 05146, Harlows Sugarhouse 563 Bellows Falls Road, Putney, VT 05346, Dutton Berry Farm rtes 11/30 Manchester, VT 05255, Robb Family Farm 827 Ames Hill Rd. Brattleboro, VT 05301, Maple Ridge Farm, 49 Larson Rd. Wilmington, VT 05363, Bobs Maple Shop, 733 Richville Rd. Manchester Ctr, VT 05255. There are many local sugarhouses that dont publicly advertise, but are still happy to have people stop by and observe the process. Just stop by Lowes Real Estate and Property Managements office on Main Street in Jamaica and well be happy to assist you with directions.