My new favorite weekend = New Hampshire Maple Sugar WeekendWe had a good run of sap earlier this year and we made some of our own maple syrup! It was a learning experience for me, and this weekend I was able to see how other people in our town and neighboring towns run their maple sugaring operations.
We probably visited about 6 or 7 different sap houses. We don’t have a sap house, so sometimes our maple sugar equipment is hard to use.
It’s difficult to boil down the sap when all the equipment is covered in snow! And it’s not fun to boil it outside if it’s raining. However, when it’s not covered in snow and the sap is flowing, it works great!
I wish you could smell it. There’s nothing better. A sweet and smokey smell. You’ll just have to come visit sometime so you can smell it for yourself.
The set up we have now is good for a couple of gallons of sap. We have about 15 taps out and have gotten about 1 or 2 gallons of maple syrup. (Keep in mind 40 gallons of sap = 1 gallon of syrup.) We easily have the potential to put out about 1,000 taps, but we would need a sap house to boil the sap into syrup.
Seeing all the sugar shacks was inspiring for Dan and I. It made us think that maybe we could do that here!
They all varied. Some were big full-time operations.
And some were small family-run operations. I loved the ones with a small kitchen for making coffee and treats while hanging out in the sugar shack.
Each sap house offered tastings of their delicious fresh maple syrup. And then there was lots of donuts, coffee, maple butter, pancakes, cookies, and people to talk to! My favorite treat was coffee made with sap instead of water. It’s my new favorite way to drink coffee. (As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a coffee drinker, so we don’t have a coffee maker. I’m going to need to get one though so I can make coffee with sap. There’s nothing better!)
People were also selling maple sugar and maple pepper. I’ve never heard of maple pepper so of course we bought some. If anyone knows what to do with it, let me know!
Dan loved this contraption that allows you to easily bring the wood from the outside in.
And this is a real big operation!
Maybe someday we’ll have an evaporator that big. There are definitely plenty of trees around to tap. Right now, I’m enjoying the little pan in our backyard.
I’m already looking forward to NH Maple Sugar Weekend 2014. Maybe we’ll be hosting an open house on our farm! There’s lots to do though, so I’ll keep you posted…
Farewell from the farm,