By Kirstan Lukasak, M.A. in English and Creative Writing Student
Despite what many people think, maple sugaring season happens in the spring. Many people flock to stores when the weather gets cold, only to find that the local syrup is all gone.
Maple trees are tapped in late February. This is done by drilling small holes in the tree. Some people use buckets to collect syrup, while others use a gravity-fed hose system. The collected sap is brought to a sugar house, where it is boiled down.
In mid- to late March, maple producers open their doors and invite the public to sample a variety of maple products. Visitors come from all over the world to enjoy a taste that is deeply rooted in New Hampshire tradition.
The maple sugaring season in New Hampshire typically lasts about six weeks, from mid-February to mid-April, depending on the location and the weather.
Some sweet facts about maple syrup:
- Maple syrup can be boiled to make maple cream, sugar and candy.
- It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup.
- A maple tree must be 40 years old before it can be tapped for syrup.
- Maple syrup has four main grades, with Grade A Light Amber being the most common.
- New Hampshire sugar makers produce almost 90,000 gallons of maple syrup each year.
According to the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association, New Hampshire has more than 107 sugar houses throughout the state.
Visit www.nhmapleproducers.com for more information about sugar houses in New Hampshire.