This is Maple Weekend in New Hampshire, so we talked with Bodie Peters, President of the NH Maple Producers Association, to get his perspective on how the sap season is shaping up.
With the unusually cold weather we’ve had, are producers actually boiling sap yet?
In southern New Hampshire, yes- in the north, there’s one I know of that did in January during that little warm spell.
How unusual is this season?
I haven’t seen one like this since I was a kid. The old timers say there’s more syrup made in the month of April then March anytime, but in the past ten years I’ve always been boiling in March. This will be the first year I can remember that I haven’t made syrup prior to Maple Weekend.
What can people expect when they visit a sugar shack this weekend?
In southern New Hampshire, they can expect sugar makers to actually be making syrup; in the north… some will be boiling water for steam… giving tours and explaining the process… I’m hoping to be boiling, but I’m not sure if that will happen.
If you are boiling in April instead of late March, does that affect the quality of the syrup?
It hasn’t really thawed yet, so the trees are still dormant. So I’m hoping it’s a normal season, just later on. There’s a lack of water in the ground, so the sap may be sweeter when it comes… I won’t know until it starts flowing.