March is Maple Sugar Time!

maple sugar kidsAlthough we’ve been buried in snow and have endured a long, cold winter, Mother Nature knows that the seasons are changing—the sap is now rising in maple trees across New Hampshire. Maple sugar producers are beginning to tap these rich sources in preparation for the big harvest that marks the start of spring!

If you’d like to see the process up close in the Lakes Region, you can get in on all the maple sugaring action at Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center in Laconia. Every Saturday throughout March, Prescott Farm welcomes the public to its Maple Sugar Madness program, where visitors can learn everything about the techniques of sugaring, from tapping to tasting! Continue reading

Celebrate Maple Sugar Time in NH

maple_syruping-2012-008Although we had a mild winter, temperature-wise, and the tap timing is a little off this year, the sap is rising in maple trees across New Hampshire. Maple sugar producers are now tapping these rich sources in preparation for the big harvest that marks the start of spring!

If you’d like to see the process up close in the Lakes Region of NH, you can get in on all the maple sugaring action at Prescott Farm in Laconia. Every Saturday throughout March, Prescott Farm welcomes the public to its Maple Sugar Madness program, where visitors can learn everything about the techniques of sugaring, from tapping to tasting! Continue reading

It’s Maple Sugar Time in NH!

Collecting the sap in NH

Even though the snow is falling, the sap is beginning to rise in maple trees across New Hampshire, and maple sugar producers are tapping these rich sources in preparation for the big harvest that marks the start of spring!

If you’d like to see the process up close in the Lakes Region of NH, you can get in on all the maple sugaring action at Prescott Farm in Laconia. Every Saturday throughout March, Prescott Farm welcomes the public to its Maple Sugar Madness program, where visitors can learn everything about the techniques of sugaring, from tapping to tasting!

The program runs three times each Saturday: from 10:00 – 11:30, 12:00 – 1:30, and 2:00 – 3:30.  Guests will have an opportunity for hands-on participation in every step of the syrup-making process. The farm’s environmental educators help visitors build tree identification skills, learn the parts of a tree, and discover how each part functions. Then visitors use measuring tools to find an appropriate maple tree to tap, and try their hands at historical as well as modern tree tapping tools.  The experience is enhanced with presentations of the history of maple sugaring, including Native American legends, woven into the program. Guests also learn the math and science involved in the boiling process. Then it’s time to taste the results! Continue reading

NH Celebrates Maple Sugar Season

Maple SyrupAs the snow melts, sap begins to rise in maple trees across New Hampshire, making March prime time for tapping the trees and collecting the clear liquid that will soon become one of the region’s most famous products:  pure NH Maple Syrup.  Sugarhouses and producers all over the state are celebrating the season this weekend, with open houses and festivals that feature this sweet treat in all its glory—fresh and warm!

The NH Maple Producers Open House Weekend takes place March 19th and 20th, and more than 60 sugarhouses in New Hampshire will be participating.  At many of the sugarhouses, visitors can learn how maple syrup is made, taste free samples, and enjoy pancake breakfasts.  If there is fresh snow on the ground, some lucky folks will be able to try an old New England tradition, maple sugar on snow.

North Woodstock, NH is going all out with a town-wide celebration.  NH Maple Fest kicks off Friday evening, March 18th, with several local restaurants featuring maple products on their menus.  On Saturday, maple lovers of all ages can join in on some fun activities, including a Maple Sugar Obstacle Course in Cascade Park, and demonstrations at nearby sugarhouses.  The Lincoln Woodstock Rotary will then host a Maple Dinner Ball Saturday night, with live entertainment and the crowning of the King and Queen of Sap.  The fun continues on Sunday with an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, the New Hampshire Maple Festival Parade, and a Maple Festival Bed Race.

If you don’t get your fill of maple syrup this weekend, next weekend is shaping up with more fun activities as well.  On Saturday, March 26th, The Remick Museum and Farm in Tamworth is hosting their Annual Maple Sugar Event, where visitors can experience the historic maple sugar encampment, enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride, and view exhibits on the history of maple sugaring, from Native American traditions to modern techniques.  And in Laconia, Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center will be celebrating Maple Sugar Madness!

With skiing and snowshoeing still happening up north, flowers starting to sprout in the southern areas, and so many special maple sugar events happening all over the state, there are plenty of reasons to visit New Hampshire in the spring!  Cheers!

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team

Image credit: anolobb at flickr.com

Celebrate Maple Weekend in New Hampshire!

Collecting the sap

Collecting the sap

It’s spring and the sap is running!  Maple sugaring time in New Hampshire runs from mid-February to mid-April, and this weekend, March 27-28, marks the 15th year of New Hampshire Maple Weekend.  On Saturday and Sunday, sugar houses across the state will welcome visitors to taste free samples, eat a pancake breakfast, take a horse-drawn ride, help with sap collecting, and enjoy all kinds of entertainment.

At Kulharic Farm in Meredith, NH, Camp Maple will be serving homemade French crepes drizzled with fresh syrup, as well as doughnuts and coffee.  If there is fresh snow, a special treat of maple sugar on snow will be offered.  In nearby Gilford, NH, Bolduc Sugar House and Smith Farm Stand will both be hosting tours of their sap houses with demonstrations and refreshments.

Here are some maple syrup facts:

  • It takes 30-50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup.
  • Maple syrup is boiled even further to produce maple cream, maple sugar, and maple candy.
  • It takes one gallon of maple syrup to produce eight pounds of maple candy or sugar
  • A gallon of maple syrup weighs 11 pounds.
  • The sugar content of sap averages 2.5 percent; sugar content of maple syrup is at least 66 percent or more.
  • Usually a maple tree is at least 30 years old and 12 inches in diameter before it is tapped.
  • As the tree increases in diameter, more taps can be added – up to a maximum of four taps.
  • Tapping does no permanent damage and only 10 percent of the sap is collected each year. Many maple trees have been tapped for 150 or more years.
  • Each tap will yield an average of 10 gallons of sap per season, producing about one quart of syrup.
  • The maple season may last eight to 10 weeks, but sap flow is heaviest for about 10-20 days in the early spring.

Celebrate this New Hampshire tradition by visiting a sugar house in your area, or head up to our neck of the woods for some local flavor!

Sources:
http://www.nhmapleproducers.com/

http://pittsburgh.about.com/cs/pennsylvania/a/maple_syrup_2.htm

Photo Credit: r_gallant at Flickr.com