Friday, March 4, 2011

March brings Maple Season to New Hampshire

A sure sign of spring on my street is when my neighbor hangs out the old plastic milk bottles on his maple trees to tap maple sap. Here, the sap begins to run when temperatures hit about 45 degrees. The best conditions are nights below freezing, and warm days which make the sap run up from the roots to the leaf buds on the branches. Last year was poor season for maple syrup, with the constant ice damage and drought, but this season looks to be a great one with plenty of rain earlier in the year, and minimal ice damage this winter.

The frugal Yankee way to collect sap

Hank Peterson is firing up the evaporator at his sugar house on Peabody Row, Londonderry this weekend. You are invited to drop by and visit him anytime you see steam rising from the chimney to view the traditional craft of turning sap into maple syrup. If you don't mind the crowds, March 19 and 20, 2011 is set for this year's New Hampshire Maple Producer's Open House Weekend, when all the sugar houses in New Hampshire will be open for visitors, tours and (of course) sampling!

traditional sap buckets

The Rube Goldberg way to collect sap

All the photos of maples tapped in assorted fashions were photographed in Londonderry today, 4 March 2011 in a quick drive around town. Many folks are continuing the tradition their families started generations and generations ago in New England. Click on the images to enlarge them.

Items on display inside the Peterson sugar house
include this slice of a fallen maple tree
(the marks show where it was tapped over the years)

Click here for my post from last March about my annual trip to Mr. Peterson's sugar house. No matter how many times I go, I always learn something new!

The webstie for the New Hampshire Maple Producers , with information and links to Open House Weekend.

Stoking the fire under the sap evaporator at Peterson's
Sugar House in Londonderry, NH.
It takes about 40 gallons of sap
to make one gallon of syrup. Hence, all that steam!

click here for more photos of Mr. Peterson's sugar house

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

1 comment:

  1. Love the picture of the tree with milk jugs. And I wondered why I was recently feeling a hankering for maple candy.