Now that we are consistently seeing above-zero daytime highs and freezing temperatures at night, the maple harvest has begun.  

Rolly Gagne is the President of the St. Pierre Museum. He says his team usually taps around 300 trees in the community and they began that process Wednesday afternoon. 

“What's happening now is that my team is getting all the trees tapped up, putting the buckets on and as we're doing that, the trees are leaking and they're producing.” 

Gagne says normally, they would only begin tapping trees on March 26th or 27th. With that in mind, he notes they are really excited about the forecast. 

“The reason is because we can see that the season might be extended because it's so early. So, we might be able to get an extra week or two out of this.” 

silver buckets attached to a treeThe St. Pierre museum taps approximately 300 trees in the community

Even if the weather warms up a little too rapidly or cools off again, Gagne says the harvest sometimes has a stop and start nature.  

“Last year, what happened is that it got so super-hot that the tree stopped, but it only stopped for three to four days and then they started over again. A lot of times we get discouraged, and we say ‘well we're done’, but sometimes we're not because we could extend that a little bit longer if we've got the patience.” 

Gagne encourages enthusiasts to try making their own maple syrup. 

“Don't be shy. Get out there, tap your trees, let us know how things are going. Join us at our Maple Syrup Festival and you can brag about your stuff and I'll brag about mine.” 

The Sugaring Off Festival will run April 6th and 7th from 10 AM to 5 PM both days. Gagne adds “of course, it’s free. Parking throughout the village, so you don't have to worry about the parking. You just park anywhere, then you walk a block or two and you'll get to our site. Then you're going to enjoy the music, enjoy the food, enjoy the Maple syrup. We're ready for you.” 

And if anyone has any questions about the maple harvest or needs advice, he says they should feel free to call him at the St. Pierre Museum and he’d be happy to help.  

a poster for the Sugaring Off Festival