In New England, mid to late February is the start of the maple syrup making season.
Up until the Civil War, using maple sugar was an act of political protest for many northern abolitionists, who refused to use cane sugar produced by slave colonies in the Caribbean. New England forests had been over logged to build ships for the slave trade of the era. Abolitionists attempted to reseed decimated areas with maple trees, and use maple sugar rather than cane for their needs.
The “Sap Castle” in Rutland, MA welcomes visitors to view the sugaring process and learn about its history during February and March.