Breakfast Giveaway: Pancakes, Coffee & Tea in Western MA

Breakfast Giveaway in Western MA:
Sugar Shack Breakfast for Your Family Plus
Locally Produced Coffee & Tea Gift Boxes

Our region is rich in locally grown, produced and served food.  Enter to win a breakfast out for a family of four at South Face Farm Sugarhouse (Ashfield), along with locally produced coffee from Gay Coffee (Williamsburg) and tea from Tea Guys (Hatfield). Deadline to enter to win: March 19th by 7pm (EST).

Maple Sugar Season is upon us and many families make it an annual tradition to enjoy breakfast together at one of the rustic sugar shacks in the region.  It’s a great way to spend a morning together with the kids while enjoying the first harvest of the year and watching the sugaring process.  We asked our readers to share their favorite sugar shack in Western MA and recommendations ranged from Gould’s in Shelburne, Red Bucket in Worthington, Steve’s Sugar Shack in Westhampton, to South Face Farm in Ashfield… but one thing was quiet clear… families LOVE their local sugar shacks!

To celebrate this short and sweet breakfast tradition of coming together with your community to dine at these seasonal houses of sweetness, Hilltown Families has partnered with three local businesses to offer one lucky family the chance to win a breakfast for four at South Face Farm Sugarhouse in Ashfield, plus a coffee gift box from Gay Coffee in Williamsburg, and a tea gift box from Tea Guys in Hatfield (all three!).

According to the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association, “Sugaring is one of the few tourist destination events to occur during mud season in March and April. 60,000 visitors spend in excess of one million dollars during sugaring season. Farms, restaurants, Bed and Breakfasts, country inns, and other tourist businesses share this income, which flows mostly into small towns and farm communities.”

To enter to win our Breakfast Giveaway, we’re looking for community feedback on how the harvest of maple syrup gets your family outdoors, participating in the harvest with your community to share in a collection stories and recipes we are putting together for a new project we’re working on called Seasons at Our Table.  In addition to dining out at a sugar shack, maybe your family gathers maple sap and boils it down, or you like to attend the maple festivals and educational opportunities in the area… Or maybe you have a new tradition you’re looking forward to participating in with your family and/or community.  Details on how to enter to win are below, and deadline to enter is Monday, March 19th by 7pm (EST).

Here’s what you can enter to win:

South Face Farm Sugarhouse (Ashfield, MA)

South Face Farm Sugarhouse is located in Ashfield, MA, a small rural and farming community in the Berkshire foothills.  Their traditional old New England sugarhouse and restaurant is open this year on Saturdays and Sundays from March 3rd to April 7th, and closed Easter Sunday.  Families can watch pure maple syrup being made and then just a few steps away, taste the results on a plate of steaming hot blueberry pancakes. They offer a varied menu of traditional New England sugarhouse food, using the best ingredients from local farms and sources. Their French toast is made from locally baked real French bread, or cinnamon bread. All batters are made from scratch each day using the finest ingredients. To see the sugarhouse menu click here to view or print. Seasonal updates are posted on the South Face Farm Facebook page and more info can be found at www.southfacefarm.com.

GIVEAWAY: South Face Farm is offering Hilltown Families readers a chance to win breakfast for a family of four at their restaurant and sugarhouse for this season.  Don’t miss the chance to experience a taste of the maple sugaring season while dinning with your family in a quintessential New England tradition. (Value: Whatever your family orders, they’ve got you covered!)

Gay Coffee (Williamsburg, MA)

Gay Coffee is based in Williamsburg, MA.   Each batch of hand roasted coffee is fairly traded and organically sourced, respecting their coffee growing partners, and the planet’s health.   At the intersection of a historic moment in gay civil rights, and over the morning ritual of sharing a cup of exquisite coffee, Gay Coffee was conceived as the perfect integration of these two powerful themes with 1% of all profits donated to the National Gay Lesbian Task Force.  Find out more about Gay Coffee at www.gaycoffee.com

GIVEAWAY: Gay Coffee gift box includes a 10 oz gift tin of Second Date, a deep and very full bodied brew that combines African and Central American beans;  A 10 oz bag of Stone Butch Breakfast Blend: A classic blend of medium roasted beans from the highlands of Guatemala; and a set of “Wake Up and Taste the Gay!” mugs. (Value: $56)

Tea Guys (Hatfield, MA)

Tea Guys in Hatfield, MA is a local family-owned business specializing in artisan whole leaf loose tea blends. Their culinary-inspired tea creations are blended in small batches daily and made with the finest loose tea from around the world, freshly hand-milled spices, vanilla bean, dried fruits, nuts and artisan ingredients to create unique and colorful blends that stimulate the eyes, nose, and palate – and truly taste like no other tea. www.teaguys.com

GIVEAWAY: This Tea Guys gift box includes a selection of three tins of our unique blends: Tropical Green tea, Strawberry Kiwi fruit tisane, and Coconut Truffle black tea, along with a brewing basket for brewing the perfect cup of tea. (Value: $35)

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a family breakfast for four at South Face Farm Sugarhouse in Ashfield this season, plus a gift box of coffee from Gay Coffee in Williamsburg, and a gift box of tea from Tea Guys in Hatfield is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING THIS POST ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below,
  • TELL US HOW MAPLE SUGAR SEASON GETS YOUR FAMILY OUTDOORS AND PARTICIPATING IN THE HARVEST WITH YOUR COMMUNITY below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • From our favorite entries (so make them good!) we’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Monday, March 19th by 7pm (EST).

26 Comments

  1. Christa said,

    March 24, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Thank you Hilltown Families. We received the gift certificate in the mail already and can’t wait to get out there and try their delicious food! French toast on home baked bread sounds good to me!

  2. March 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Congratulations to:

    • Christa Figueroa of Holyoke, MA.

    Christa has won a family breakfast for four at South Face Farm Sugarhouse in Ashfield this season, plus a gift box of coffee from Gay Coffee in Williamsburg, and a gift box of tea from Tea Guys in Hatfield.

    We have another excellent giveaway we’re offering now…

    Are there recipes that have been passed down in your family that have a story that you share with your kids at the breakfast table, like Maple Pumpkin Muffins or your grandmother’s Buckwheat Pancakes? Whatever your morning breakfast or brunch fare might be, we invite you to share it with us here on Hilltown Families. Share a recipe and be entered to win a fabulous package (valued at $185) to get your family in the kitchen cooking breakfast or brunch together! Deadline to enter to win is Wednesday, March 28th by 7pm (EST). Click on the banner to find out more!

  3. Stephanie Billings said,

    March 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    My children’s preschool takes a fieldtrip to the Hadley Sugar Shack every sugar season. Joe gives a great tour to the kids and adults that includes science, mapeling facts and hands on demonstrations. It’s a great way to integrate nature, science, and local food awareness.
    During the sugar season we try different sugar shacks as a great way to explore the valley and experience spring.

    Steph Billings
    Florence, MA

  4. Beth Caissie, Greenfield, MA said,

    March 17, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    I mark the end of winter by the first buckets and tubes I see attached to maple trees on the side of the road. I love to take my family for hikes during this (sometimes muddy, sometimes icy) time of year to look for hidden sugar bushes deep in the woods. The first time I found the tangle of plastic tubes running from tree to tree far from the road, I was exploring the Quabbin Reservoir. We also love to head to the sugar shacks for a meal this time of year, and stock up on syrup, which we do buy by the gallon…

    So, that’s how sugaring season gets us outside, BUT, more to the point, when I saw the tease for this give-away I thought, OMG, that’s got my name written all over it…I’m finishing my dissertation right now (defend in a week), so unfortunately, I have seen my family *very little* over the past few months (thank goodness I have a supportive spouse). I feel like I’ve missed out on the end of winter AND maple sugaring season. I would like nothing more than to head to a sugar shack for breakfast (or lunch) with my family, and have this thought every day when I drive past the Williams sugar house in Deerfield. In this dissertation process, I have been drinking coffee like crazy, supplemented with all kinds of tea, AND as a lesbian, the branding of GAY COFFEE totally caught my eye… Thanks for the study break Hilltown Families!

    Oh, look, I just noticed that it says, “1 entry per household” and my partner Amy Mayer already entered. I think that makes me ineligible, or maybe it makes her ineligible…I’ll let you guys sort that out!

  5. Rebecca Heath said,

    March 16, 2012 at 8:21 am

    We Love Maple Sugaring Season..as a Family , including our 93 year old grandmother head to Ioka Valley Farm for their delicious farm fresh breakfast. Our favorite of course is the fresh boiled maple syrup but they also have the best maple butter…MMMM….this year my Husband and four year old daughter tapped the trees on our land. It was amazing to watch her learn which one’s were maple trees by the bark they have. She helped use the hammer and hang the bucket and to her surprise sap started immediately flowing. We don’t have any fancy boiler so we boiled it outside and it took forever but the finished product we are so proud of. It is a great family memory that we will continue each year. So important for our children to learn about trees, animals, plants and our food. Each time we eat our pancakes with our own Maple Syrup I will think of those memories. It’s priceless.

    Rebecca Heath
    Pittsfield, Ma 01201

  6. Kristy Dyer said,

    March 14, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    We love to try out new sugar shacks each year. Our daughter also has a dream of tapping maple trees herself and tried it out last year using a straw and a paper cup….we have to start somewhere! :-)

    Kristy Dyer
    Hatfield

  7. Chris Curtis said,

    March 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Every March my family looks forward to the MapleFest on Skyline Trail in Chester. The highlight is the hayride to High Meadow Farm to see how maple syrup is made and a taste of the wonderful syrup! The pancake breakfast and farm animal exhibit is also great. This is a great New England tradition to get us out and welcome spring!

    South Hadley, MA

  8. Amy Cullen said,

    March 13, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    When we lived in Plainfield we always gave the local sugar house permission to tap our trees along the road and my husband usually collected and boiled enough syrup to share with our family in the south.
    Now that we are in Williamsburg, we lent our buckets to our neighbor who has been boiling away on his front porch since the sap started running. My daughters preschool just finished a week of learning about syruping, drinking sap and making maple- ginger bread. When she complained about wanting it to be spring, I reminded her that it was maple season. She was totally satisfied- Hurray for Mud/Maple season!!!
    Amy Cullen
    Williamsburg, MA

  9. Christa Figueroa said,

    March 12, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    We made it a home school field trip and visited Zawalich’s Sugarhouse in Northampton with another home school family. Stan Zawalich was very kind and showed the kids all the equipment and explained how everything worked. He let them peek inside the sugar buckets attached to the trees too. We bought some yummy treats from his store like maple covered peanuts and maple lollipops. We took another field trip to Hanging Mountain Farms and their very own, very unique Strawbale Cafe. That’s right, it’s structure is made completely out of bales of straw. They have a peek-a-boo “window” where you can see the insides of the walls. They were sugaring the day we went and we got to go inside to see it all happening. They let the kids taste the pure sweet sap. After we ate at the cafe. They had delicious hot maple milk with maple whipped cream, fresh blueberry pancakes with none but their own maple syrup. They also had a little gift area to purchase some to take home. It was a great day! There’s nothing like it to kick off the start of spring!!!
    Christa
    Holyoke, MA
    wtnss4j@yahoo.com

  10. Mike strong said,

    March 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Living in Goshen, we have several sugar houses near us. My 5 year old loves to go and watch them boil and bottle, and my wife gets ideas from them to teach to her preschool class.

  11. Heather Rose said,

    March 10, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Our family helps collect the sap from the trees. And watches it boil down into yummy syrup.

  12. March 10, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Our family likes to have breakfast at Ioka Valley Farm. We feed the animals, mimic the sounds, sample syrup, & learn how it’s made.

  13. Stacy Calabretta said,

    March 9, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    I’ve always loved maple season! Now, my 3 year old daughter is equally in love with it…we have tapped a few trees and will make a little syrup at home.
    We will take as many different trips to as many of our local sugar shacks as we can during the week and then all of us on the weekends. My partner and I will discuss which places had our favorite syrups and foods and our daughter will love seeing the boiling sap and tasting the different syrups. Yum!

  14. Sarah Schatz said,

    March 8, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    This is the first sugaring season my kids got to enjoy the actual process of tapping a tree. We had a great day at Red Gate Farm, where Ben showed us the steps in maple syruping. Of couse an annual pilgrimage to a sugar shack is also necessary!

    Sarah
    Hatfield, MA

  15. Amy Mayer, Greenfield, MA said,

    March 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Our family is outdoors all year round, but maple sugaring is the prefect bridge between winter skiing, sledding and hiking and the glorious green of our spring activities–more hiking, biking, and eventually swimming, to name a few. We like to wander to a different sugar shack every year, from Hadley to Shelburne to Deerfield to, we hope, Ashfield this year. Also, maple syrup season revives us for fresh farm vegetables after a winter of eating from our root cellar. We get our produce from Riverland Farm just about year round, but this is the time when we can no longer store and we’re gobbling up what we can at the monthly winter market in Greenfield. We’ve finally figured out that we should eat breakfast FIRST and then head to a sugar house for a LUNCH of pancakes or waffles with fresh maple syrup. Makes the waiting much more pleasant as it cuts down on the family grumpiness.

  16. March 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    The Grindrod Family doesn’t have any sugar maples in our yard to tap – but we do have yellow birch! So the three of us head out each year and tap a yellow birch. We don’t make syrup – the sap never makes it that far. We just drink the sweet water down – a Spring elixer:)

  17. colette davis said,

    March 7, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    I am from New England, but my husband and little ones are proudly midwestern. My children have never gone maple syrup harvesting before. I remember my parents and grandparents meeting up at the sugar shack just to smell the wood burning and enjoy a pancake with local syrup. Breakfast, from the harvest seems sweeter, like the first taste of a flemish pancake coated with the deepest syrup you ever saw.
    My husband did not realize that syrup was dark, having grown up on Vermont Maid and sorghum syrup. He is very excited to have the chance to partake in a piece of my childhood.
    Coming from Massachusetts, it is not simply a reward to have this as part of our annual welcome it spring. It is an age old tradition, it is literally taking a step into the past with my family.

  18. Sarah said,

    March 6, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    The season between winter and spring has been dubbed maple-sugaring season. The added benefit, I mean beyond the delicious food, is that it is another example for our children of where our food comes from. These are important conversations to have over a stack of pancakes! I’m so glad they dont think it comes from a bottle in the grocery store! Yuck-o.

    Sarah
    Russell, MA

  19. Brooke said,

    March 6, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    We have two sugar maples in our yard, which we tapped last year. We are not from the area, so this was a first for both of us. We boiled down buckets of sap to make the tiniest bit of syrup, which we savored on our oatmeal.
    Equally rewarding: tromping through mud with the kids to eat pancakes and smell the steam with friends.

  20. ~Heather Polson/Northampton said,

    March 6, 2012 at 11:42 am

    We aren’t originally from New England, so the magic behind this seasonal event always has us going to breakfast a few times over these precious weeks.
    The Sugar Barn at Norwich Lake Farm is where we always go – some all-you-can-eat places aren’t very tasty and other places are so darned busy. This place is always delicious, small enough to feel like you’re a true guest and the wait (if there is one) is minimal.
    After we order, the family wanders off to see the sap cooking and after we’re all good and full, we visit the animals outside.

  21. Sara said,

    March 5, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    One of the things I love about going to sugar shacks is running into friends unexpectedly—and the conversations that crop up with the people you don’t know at the other end of your picnic table or waiting in the mapley steam with you.

    I like talking to the owners to see what kind of year it is and learn more about the process. We get ideas about what other people are doing with sap and syrup (most intriguing is brewing beer but no word on the results).

    Maple season gets us out (early) into the melty, muddy parking lots, peering into buckets to show kids the drip, drip, drip of sap. It gets us out for a walk because you need to do something after all that sugar (I vote for walk, my husband votes for a nap). I usually suggest a walk at Chesterfield Gorge after a visit to High Hopes. It’s always icier, colder, and windier than I expect and we don’t get far, but we’ll keep trying. Once you’re up and out, it’s easier to stay there.

    I love the idea of the sugarbush snowshoe at Red Gate Farm. I hadn’t really thought of other maple events until I saw them listed here. I’m always so focused on going to the sugar shacks, both our old favorites and the new ones we try and love every year.

    (oops, forgot to say who I was and where I’m from)
    Sara Barry
    Haydenville, MA

  22. Sara said,

    March 5, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    One of the things I love about going to sugar shacks is running into friends unexpectedly—and the conversations that crop up with the people you don’t know at the other end of your picnic table or waiting in the mapley steam with you.

    I like talking to the owners to see what kind of year it is and learn more about the process. We get ideas about what other people are doing with sap and syrup (most intriguing is brewing beer but no word on the results).

    Maple season gets us out (early) into the melty, muddy parking lots, peering into buckets to show kids the drip, drip, drip of sap. It gets us out for a walk because you need to do something after all that sugar (I vote for walk, my husband votes for a nap). I usually suggest a walk at Chesterfield Gorge after a visit to High Hopes. It’s always icier, colder, and windier than I expect and we don’t get far, but we’ll keep trying. Once you’re up and out, it’s easier to stay there.

    I love the idea of the sugarbush snowshoe at Red Gate Farm. I hadn’t really thought of other maple events until I saw them listed here. I’m always so focused on going to the sugar shacks, both our old favorites and the new ones we try and love every year.

  23. Kara Kitchen said,

    March 5, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Whenever an out-of-state family member or friend comes to visit for the first time in Plainfield, their visit would not be complete without a Saturday or Sunday brunch at a local sugarshack! The experience is quintessential New England hospitality, food, and culture. What is old hat to our twin 9 year old boys, family-style dining at picnic tables on gravel floors and wood stove, brings a twinkle to our guest’s eye…not to mention the amazing homemade food, often including local meats, eggs+dairy, the never-ending stack of pancakes, a constant flow of fresh warm maple syrup, and chatting with neighbors, classmates, and the farmer down the road that keep us coming back every year and putting (sticky) smiles on every face that walks out the barn door!

  24. Wendy Somes said,

    March 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    I truly love living in the Hilltowns but one thing I do miss from my former urban life is walking to restaurants. There is something about walking to a restaurant that makes dining out feel even more like an event. Whenever sugar season hits I tell myself that this year, we will walk the over 5 mile walk to South Face Farm. It is right down our road – if by road you mean rambling country miles of woods and farmland.
    Have not done it yet but I hope we get to it. My son is 15 months so maybe not this year. But this will become a family tradition someday!

    Spruce Corner Road, Goshen

  25. tonya said,

    March 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Hi there,
    For years zoe and I have been wanting to tap trees and this has been the year! 15 trees tapped, days of boiling and small amounts of syrup to show! Its yummier when it is your own! To me sugar season is the hope that Spring has not forgotten us! such local goodness!
    Tony(a) Lemos
    Ashfield MA

  26. March 5, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    I remember as a child walking a long distance into the sugar bush with my grandfather. We would stand in a little sugar shack in the middle of the sugar bush and wait patiently by the fire as sugar water would turn into syrup – I couldn’t wait for the end result – pure maple heaven! So, when my hubby and I had kids of our own, I couldn’t wait to let them experience maple sugaring (of course, nowadays, sugaring has a few technological advances, but the process is ultimately the same).

    We lived in Syracuse, NY when our two boys were young and we would take them (as soon as they could appreciate it) to sugar shacks and Maple Festivals. We then found ourselves in Dalton, MA a year and a half ago – low and behold, we ended up right near all the maple sugaring action! Coincidentally, my step-dad designs and builds automatic draw-off systems for maple production, so after moving to MA, I decided that I could help him with his business – after all, I practically live for sugaring season. This was the most fantastic thing for my family, as I find myself taking my family (my hubby and our two boys – ages 3 1/2 and 6) with me as we travel from sugar shack to sugar shack through the hilltowns. We talk with the farmers and my boys get a first hand look at how the process works. They’ve learned more about maple syrup production than most kids do and they’ve learned about agriculture and science along the way. We’re even thinking about tapping a few of our own trees to put to use what they’ve learned.

    I find that assisting maple farmers with production was not just a business venture, but it was a family venture (just like most maple production is a family venture). My kids love going with me to the farms and they ask questions to learn more about it. We enjoy buying syrup from several local farmers and eating piles of pancakes at their restaurants/sugar shacks (I guess you could say it’s a “hazard” of the business! :). My 3 1/2 year old even sleeps with his tiny bottle of maple syrup – I’m not joking, either – it’s like a stuffed animal to him. :) There’s just something about maple syrup!


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