Mapletree Farm LLC

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Spring 2014 Update

The syrup production season ended in the second week in April. It was interesting and unusual, perhaps the most difficult sugaring season in our 39 years here. As it has been in the past, our determination to avoid predicting the season was once again prudent. At best there was a short crop this year. So what happened? In late February the nights were frequently below 10 and that weather pattern continued well into March. Those really cold nights delayed sap flow until noontime or after. Instead of getting sap flows for six to eight hours, this year a little sap flowed for just two or three hours. Instead of getting real sap runs, we got what we called drizzles of sap. Sometimes it took a few days to get enough sap to boil into syrup. The weather played havoc with syrup grades this year. The color was consistently darker than normal throughout the season. We made awesome flavored syrup but not light enough for us to grade it as light amber. In our minds, the very best flavored syrup was mid-season dark amber. It was perhaps the best flavor of the past few seasons, including those seasons in which we had made light amber syrup.

We were fortunate to have plenty of sap to boil on both days of our Maple Weekend Open House. We appreciate the many visitors who came to smell the aroma, taste the various samples, experience the excitement, and enjoy the self-guided orchard tour. There were new things to see and do on the tour and children had a great opportunity to run off their maple cotton candy highs. Some visitors got to observe turkey flocks and even a number of deer. We love to answer visitor questions and to explain the maple story during the Open House.

On March 20th Meg and I were honored by a special visit from our US Senator, Jeanne Shaheen. She stopped by to help kick off our Maple Weekend Open House. Senator Shaheen talked with us about our energy saving equipment, the maple season to date, and the recently passed Farm Bill with its provisions for sugarmakers. In 1998, then-Governor Shaheen visited our sugarhouse and tapped a tree to celebrate the start of maple season in New Hampshire. During her visit this year, she paid us a great compliment when she autographed one of our sap buckets with the inscription “Keep producing the best maple syrup in New Hampshire.” Thank you, Senator Shaheen!

So what is next at Mapletree Farm? Clean up, of course! We remove every tap (850); wash the tubing (all 30,000 feet of it) and the buckets (only 15), clean all the tanks (13), and clean and disassemble the evaporator. These tasks take about a month or more. We also are cutting next season’s firewood in between the cleaning tasks so it can dry over the summer months.

Earlier in this message I wrote about the short crop during the production season. Weather and temperatures in this area were never quite right for good sap flows. We get one opportunity each year to make maple syrup and that is during those few weeks when the temperatures are right for sap to flow. This typically occurs between the end of February and early April. Unlike some farm crops there is no possibility of a second crop. Once favorable weather conditions have ended with the onset of higher temperatures we must wait until next year’s season to make more maple syrup. “Short crop” is a description used by farmers to indicate a smaller than normal crop. To conserve the amount of syrup we have for our customers, we will use less of this year’s crop in making confectionary maple products like maple cream, candy, coated nuts, and crystals. Maple syrup is our number one product and we hope our conservation effort will allow us to have maple syrup for sale most of the year.

We anticipate that New Hampshire may switch to the new International Grade Standards next year. Vermont has already done so. Eventually all maple producing states and Canadian Provinces will be required by the IMSI (International Maple Syrup Institute) to use the new International Grade Standard. Briefly the purpose of the new grading system is to simplify grades of syrup and to standardize grading across the industry, in both USA and Canada.

We appreciate all of you who have visited our Web Site. It is heartwarming to receive your compliments and we always welcome your feedback. We will continue keeping you informed about what is happening here at Mapletree Farm and with the industry.

Please plan ahead for our 40th Anniversary Open House on Maple Weekend in March, 2015. The celebration will either be March 21st & 22nd or 28th & 29th. Watch for confirmation of the date on our Web Site.




Welcome to Mapletree Farm.    We have been producing quality NH-made maple products for over 30 years from our sugarhouse in East Concord, New Hampshire.    Making maple syrup is a craft requiring skill, knowledge and an eye for perfection.  Combining practices passed down through the generations with the latest technology available allows us to make exceptional maple products, with a difference that you can taste. 

Maple makes a great gift.  We ship our products all over the world, and will be happy to work with you on your order whether you are interested in a gift for yourself, a loved one, or for corporate promotions.

We hope you come by and visit us during sugaring season to see our operation and our maple products.   You can also check out our products page to see the variety of authentic maple products available.
 
Sincerely,
 
Meg and Dean Wilber


This year's Open House will be on March 22 & 23, 2014.
Hours:  10am to 4pm.

We Hope To See You There!

Visit Concord's best-kept maple secret!  You'll be able to:
  • Get free samples of syrup, coated nuts, sugar on snow, and now maple cotton candy
  • See the sugar house in operation
  • Learn how syrup is made!
  • Watch the sap flow through hundreds of feet of tubing
  • Take a self-guided walking tour of the orchard and woodland
  • Stock up on maple products
Fun for the whole family!

Click here for directions!