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Reporter's Notebook

July 5, 2014

Syrup makers surged despite brutal winter

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced that New York retained its position as the No. 2 producer of maple syrup in the country this year. It produced 546,000 gallons of maple syrup with 2.2 million taps, according to the USDA. This is the third-best year for maple production in the past 20 years.

The state’s maple industry had many challenges this year after the cold months of February and March when production was halted for some producers. This was a problem for those using the older technology of buckets and gravity tubing. As sap production ceased during the winter, tapholes closed and sap stopped running. Producers using vacuum tubing were able to keep the tapholes functioning, thus enabling them to produce maple syrup over the entire season.

Dwayne Hill, President of the New York State Maple Producers Association, said: “Every year, we are reminded that Mother Nature is in charge and the percentages of maple syrup colors produced is largely determined by environmental factors. This year, there was a low percentage of light amber syrup, with most of the crop comprising medium and dark colors. This is a good thing for consumers as the most popular flavors of maple are medium and dark amber.”

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The Delaware County Historical Association will be hosting the 144th reenactment group over the weekend of July 26 and 27. The 144th Regiment was the largest and best known mustered in Delaware County during the Civil War, composed almost entirely of county residents. It was formed during the summer of 1862 and was stationed at different locations throughout the war. The bloodiest battles in which it was involved were both fought in South Carolina at the end of 1864 — Honey Hill and Deveaux’s Neck.

The upcoming weekend events include Civil War battlefield reenactments, living history demonstrations, a Lincoln-Douglas debate, live music, exhibits & much more. Participants will include re-enactors representing both Union and Confederate troops, some of the latter traveling to Delaware County from South Carolina. Additionally, the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, the first black regiment raised in the north during the Civil War, will be joining the fight. It was featured in the movie “Glory,” and this particular unit served as color guard during President Barack Obama’s 2008 inauguration.

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