Sweet Happenings At Appleton Farms

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june i phone 004Over the years I have spent many hours picking fresh produce with my twins and nieces in the expansive fields at Appleton Farms.  Our weekly trips could best be described as mini adventures.  Each week we began in the barn, reading the current weeks list of allotted share items, before heading out into the fields with our baskets, clippers, and containers.  Sharing  stories and memories from my childhood in my grandparents garden with the kids while picking our share, was something the kids quickly became accustomed to. They often requested their favorite stories to be retold, and we often talked about recipes that could be prepared by using the items surrounding us in the fields, planning out our snacks and meals for the week throughout the seasons was something we all enjoyed doing. 

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Many photos of  Appleton Farms gorgeous scenic settings are featured in my cookbook “Gifts Of Gold” surrounding the pages of a story I share that is very dear to my heart.  Last week during a meeting at the Reservation, I was excited to learned that Appleton Farms will be hosting numerous opportunities for share holders and the general public to visit the Reservation throughout this upcoming season.  

I’m thrilled to announce that I will be hosting cooking demonstrations, using  freshly picked produce from the fields of Appleton in their barn throughout the 2014 season.  GMG will be sharing their events and news throughout 2014 season under Sista’s Dish weekly.  This week their season will  kick off  with all things Maple Sugar! The events are listed below, and they sound amazing for all ages!   

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How Sweet it Is!
Discover a New England Tradition as
Appleton Farms Hosts a Suite of Maple Sugaring Happenings this March
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Ipswich, MA – February 21, 2014 – The Trustees of Reservations invites the community to visit Appleton Farms in Ipswich this March to enjoy the sweet New England tradition of maple sugaring. Last winter marked the first season America’s oldest working farm added a sugaring operation to their already extensive farming list, which also includes an active vegetable CSA, a livestock operation with dairy and beef cows and laying hens, an onsite creamery, and haying and composting.
“Maple sugaring is a good fit for Appleton Farms as the 1,000 acre property boasts large sugar maple trees easily accessed by our farm roads, making for easier sap collection,” says Appleton Farms Superintendent Mark Bailey. “Thanks to some retired maple sugarer’s equipment, including taps and buckets and a wood-fired evaporator, we were able to retrofit the old garage as the new sugar shack. And, the farm woodlands provide plenty of downed wood for fueling the evaporator fire.”
The 2013 sugaring season proved worthy. Thanks to some hard work, community support, and a little help from Mother Nature, the farm produced and sold in their dairy store more than 35 gallons of finished maple syrup product. With their first successful season now under their belt, the farm is opening its sugar shack doors to the public this March to enjoy a variety of sugaring programs and events including:
Saturdays at the Sugar Shack
Saturday, March 1 & March 8  |  11AM-3PM
Drop-by and visit the sugar shack at Appleton Farms and experience the sights and smells of this historic New England tradition. Take a walk to see our beautiful, maple-lined avenues and help collect sap and then learn how it becomes delicious maple syrup. For more information visit: www.thetrustees.org/appletonfarms or call 978.356.5728. FREE and open to the public.
Tap to Table with Appleton Cooks!
Saturday, March 8, 3 – 5:30 & Wednesday, March 12, 10 – 12:30pm
Appleton Farms keeps a very special New England tradition alive by tapping Appleton Farms’ beautiful maple trees and producing wood-fired, small-batch maple syrup. In this Appleton Cooks! workshop, participants will enjoy a leisurely walk around the farmstead to see how sap is harvested and collected as well as tour the sugar shack to see (and smell!) the transformation of sap to syrup. Participants will gather in the farm kitchen for the second half of the workshop with Chef Carolyn Grieco to make delectable maple syrup treats including maple mustard vinaigrette, butter braised sweet potatoes, and upside down maple pear pancakes. Register online www.thetrustees.org/appletoncooks or call 978.356.5728 x12. Trustees Members: $60. Nonmembers: $65.
First Annual Appleton Farms Maple Festival! Saturday, March 15  |  10AM – 2PM
Discover the process of maple sugaring, from tap to table, as you tour Appleton Farms sugar maple stands and sugar shack. This community-friendly event includes activities fun for all ages including:
§  Tree Exploration & Sap Tasting: Learn about the natural history of maple trees as you explore the farm’s maple sugaring operation. Sample the sweet sap, straight from the tap!
§  Syrup Tastebud Test: Sample different syrups and see you can tell the “real thing” from imitation.
§  Maple Syrup Treats: Enjoy tasty maple syrup treats made in the Appleton Cooks! kitchen including  pancake bites, maple yogurt, and more.
§  Sugar Shack Tours: Meet the maple sugarers, tour the sugar shack, learn about the evaporation process, and more!
For more information email afeducator@ttor.org or call 978.356.5728 x18. Members: Adult $10; Child (age 3-12) $5. Nonmembers: Adult $12; Child (age 3-12) $6. Children under 3 are welcome free of charge.
Appleton Farms is located at 219 County Road/Route 1A,  Ipswich, MA. For general farm information visit www.thetrustees.org/appletonfarms or call 978.356.5728.
The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) “hold in trust” and care for properties, or “reservations,” of scenic, cultural, and natural significance for the general public to enjoy. Founded by open space visionary Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees are the nation’s oldest, statewide land trust, one of Massachusetts’ largest conservation organizations and an established leader in the conservation and preservation movement nationally and internationally. Supported by more than 100,000 members, donors, and thousands of volunteers, The Trustees own and manage 112 spectacular reservations – 20 of which are located on Boston’s North Shore – including working farms, historic homesteads and gardens, community parks, barrier beaches and mountain vistas – located on more than 26,000 acres. In addition, The Trustees work closely with permanent affiliates including Boston Natural Areas Network and the Hilltown Land Trust, well as hundreds of community partners to preserve and protect special places and provide year-round programs for all ages. Visit www.thetrustees.org.
 

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