News and blog
The deep freeze we just got out of wreaked havoc on the woods. Yesterday, I found drop lines that had come off the spouts everywhere...at least 5% of the taps had to be fixed. Usually I'll find some during the course of the season, but almost every time I go to the woods, I'm finding drops that aren't connected...exceptionally bad year for this. If drop lines aren't connected, they're huge vacuum leaks which reduces sap production.
Last week was pretty busy. Sap ran well Wednesday and Thursday, and completely unexpectedly on Friday. I held some of Thursday's sap over for a boil Friday night and it kinda backfired on my because the sap ran really well. I was planning on boiling about 1600 gal of sap Friday night (manageable) but ended up with 2600 gal of sap (not really manageable). It took the RO machine 7 hrs to work it's magic, so I didn't start the evaporator up until 11pm and didn't finish boiling until 4am and in bed at 5:30. A late night, but it was worth it. Made over 50 gal of syrup in one night! First time ever. Sometimes sleep is optional during maple season.
Those warm temps in February had us making very dark syrup back then, but with how cold it's been, I'm almost back into an amber, rich. In February, I never would've figured it'd be this cold, and the grade would've come back like it did.
So after a flurry of activity during the first two weeks of the season, and making lots of syrup, the past week has been a dud. It's expected this time of year, just surprised with how warm the start of the season was. Also, last weekend, when I saw the forecast for this week (20's/40's), I thought for sure I'd be making syrup every night this week, but Mother Nature is fickle, and she dumped like 18" of snow on us. The snow's good for groundwater moisture and maintaining a cooler temperature in the woods, so I'll take it.
I'll make another prediction. Extended forecast shows 20/40's every day. I'm going to boil every night and make lots of syrup this next week. Probably not, but I like the idea of it :)
It's been almost a week since we've had a good freeze, but thankfully we have vacuum and it's keeping the trees running. We're at about 200 gal of syrup so far, which I figure to be about a half crop, so I'm in good shape heading into early March.
Looking at the long range forecast, we're back into 20's at night and 40's during the day...prime sugaring weather!!
There's over 1000 gal of sap sitting at the sugarhouse, with more to come tomorrow, so we'll be boiling tomorrow afternoon if anyone wants to stop in and watch. Time TBD, but if you're interested, I'd recommend calling ahead when I'll have a better idea on actual times. 664-2401.
It's here and in full swing! I got tapped in Presidents Day weekend and was boiling the following night. Big sap runs and little sleep was the recipe for success. The syrup sure did taste good...flavor is excellent.
The long range forecast (for what it's worth) is showing excellent weather this week. Bring on the sap!
Keep coming back to get more info on our season.
We wanted to thank everyone that visited us over Maple Weekend, and those who helped support the Barrington Fire Department by going to their annual pancake breakfast fundraiser. Fortunately, we got enough sap to be able to boil all day on both Saturday and Sunday and make some syrup. Saturday, we had a great turnout even with the weather we had...a little bit of snow, some rain, and almost some sun by the end of the day...a little bit of everything. Sunday was sunny and warm (relatively!), and we had a great crowd throughout the day. Over the weekend, we talked, and saw, many familiar faces, and we met some new people from all over the world. Again, thanks to all who showed up and supported us.
Every year, we have samples of foods you can make with maple syrup. This year we had samples of Maple Rice Krispie Treats and Maple Rum Raisin Ham. The recipes are posted on our website at their respective links. The Maple Rice Krispie Treats were a huge hit and thanks to my sister for the idea and making them for us.
Also, thanks to our friends and family that helped us get ready for the weekend and helped us during the weekend. We can't do this without you. You have our sincerest thanks.
It's been a long time since the last blog. We had a long cold stretch last week, so we weren't making any syrup, but things did warm up Monday and Tuesday of this week, and we were able to make syrup both nights. So far this year, we've been making dark and very dark syrup with great flavor.
Also, we're having our big, huuuge Maple Weekend Open House. We'll be open from 8-4 on Saturday and 8-3 on Sunday. The Barrington Fire Dept (across the street) will be having their infamous pancake breakfast fundraiser from 8-11:30 on both days.
Can't wait to see you all this weekend!
This has been a weird season. It started off with a bang and went right from winter to 60 degree temps for a week or so, and then it froze up solid. Last week, it kinda warmed up, but not enough to really get the trees running well. We got some sap made about 30 gal of syrup from it. Then last weekend came, and we're back into frigid temps for over a week...never mind the nor'easter we're getting tomorrow. It's not looking like we'll get back into sugaring weather until early next week.
Little late posting this, but better late than ever! Trees were tapped by February 21st and made our first batch of syrup that week. We've boiled a few time since and are somewhere over 100 gal for the season....only 400 more gallons to go.
We should be boiling sap Friday during the day if anyone's interested in stopping in to watch us boil and make some syrup. Give us a call if you so, so we can give you a start time.
More to follow!
Really can't believe that we are still going. With as warm as this winter's been, and in particular early to mid-March, I was thinking during maple weekend that our maple season was going to be over that week. Well, it's one and a half weeks later, and we're still making syrup! Since Maple Weekend, the weather's been very seasonable, and we're back into the cold nights and warm days. Sap flows aren't great, but it's still coming. This past week, we've been making Very Dark, Strong flavored syrup that'll put hair on your chest. Good stuff with a bold flavor.
So, I just learned something this week about why the syrup doesn't taste at the very end of the season. When the leaf buds break open and flower, they emit amino acids into the sap, which changes the sap chemistry, and makes bad tasting syrup. Something else that's interesting is if the trees start to bud, and it gets cold again, the bud development stops, and with it the release of amino acids, so the syrup tastes good again. The buds on most of the reds still haven't popped, so we're still making good flavored syrup. Also, the peepers aren't out yet, so maple season can't' be over, right!
Also, during Maple Weekend, a lot of people were asking about Breara Irish Brewing Co. and the Maple Wheat beer that they make using our syrup. Below is a link to their website where you can get more information. You can find their beers at their taproom on Rt. 1 in Portsmouth next to the new Beach Plum location, and at many area restaurants and stores. Enjoy!