Rice Farms has completed a new sugarhouse just in time for Maine Maple Sunday, an annual open house for sugarhouses across the state.
“It was really time for an upgrade,” Adam Rice said. “We’re excited to have it done and ready to show for Maple Sunday.”
The concrete foundation was poured in November 2015, Rice said. The 16-by-24-foot sugarhouse is slightly larger than the previous 16-by-20-foot building. Rice said he plans to add a woodshed onto the building at some point in the near future.
In addition to completing the new sugarhouse, Rice said he currently has 225 taps on 150 trees throughout South Bristol and Bristol. He has collected 1,800 gallons of sap so far, putting him on track for a typical season.
Due to Maine Maple Sunday falling on Easter this year, Rice Farms will celebrate on Saturday, March 26 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday, March 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the bulk of the activities taking place Saturday.
The open house will feature tours of the new sugarhouse, syrup-making demonstrations, horse-drawn wagon rides, and plenty of food, Rice said.
Rice Farms Maple Syrup will be available for purchase. “We have around 35 gallons on the shelf ready for Maine Maple Sunday,” Rice said. He usually sells out of syrup during the open house.
The event is free of charge. Donations are welcome.
In the future, Rice and his wife, Susan, hope to open a farmstand on weekends in the summer to sell maple products and other products from their farm.
Rice said he enjoys hosting the open house and welcoming visitors and field trips, as it allows him to share his family’s way of life with others.
“What we’re doing here on the farm, you don’t see it around a lot anymore,” Rice said. “It’s really important for us to create an environment where people can take their kids and see the farm in action.”
Rice Farms is located at 36 Split Rock Road in Walpole. For more information, find Rice Farms Maple Syrup on Facebook.