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2018 HHF Maple Season - Week One

Posted 2/24/2018 9:04am by The Webb Family.

Greetings from all of us at Harding Hill Farm!

Based on the past couple years, wild weather seems to be the new trend for maple season in the northeast. Back in early February... we spent far too much time looking into the long term forecast. It seemed like a 'traditional' winter was back, and we planned to start tapping around Valentine's Day. It should be a gradual start to the season with plenty of time to get ready. That prediction did not play out as planned!

Tyler began tapping on February 13th with two of our part-time employees, Andrew and Brendan. Our maple dog, Acer, helped supervise. Despite the cycles of snow and rain, the woods still require snowshoes to trudge through the 6 to 12 inches of snowpack. It took about a week to get our woods fully tapped, longer than usual, but we installed new drop lines. Drop lines connect the plastic tubing to the tap that goes into the tree. We replace these every four years to ensure good quality sap. 

  

We started collecting sap on February 15th, with only a portion of our woods tapped. Our first boil of the season was on Monday, February 19th... which happens to be the same start date as last year! We only had enough sap to get the system running smoothly and sweeten the pans on the first night. On February 20th, we made our first batch of 2018 maple syrup, making a total of 23.75 gallons that night. As a fun comparison, we actually made 23.5 gallons on the same day last year! 

  

We kept the trend going, boiling Monday through Thursday this past week, and yes we did hit nearly 70 degrees for a daytime high temperature on Wednesday! Luckily, temperatures went back down to the freezing mark that night followed by a couple inches of fresh snow on Thursday. Did I mention wild weather? As of Friday morning, we collected a total of 3,825 gallons of sap this season and made just under 63 gallons of a delicious Amber Rich syrup. The sugar content of our sap has been around 1.9% which takes about 46 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. 

 

The colder temperatures on Friday did not yield much sap, but we do have partially full tanks this morning. We are not officially open this weekend, but check our Facebook page and/or drive by and look for steam. If we are boiling, you're welcome to stop in. With a high of 41 degrees and sun today, the sap is running!


Upcoming Open Hours at the Sugarhouse...

Looking ahead, mark a few of these upcoming dates on your calendar to join us at the sugarhouse! 

March 3rd & 4th - Kick off the Maple Season
Our first official open house of the season
*Join us for a fun Harding Hill Farm announcement*

Mark your calendar for every weekend in March!

March 24th & 25th - Maple Weekend
Celebrate the traditional NH Maple Weekend with HHF!
Detailed tours and a variety of samples and snacks

Stay tuned with my weekly newsletter/blog and Facebook updates for the latest scoop. 


Are you a fan of our Grass Fed Beef?

We have a variety of retail cuts available for sugaring season. The freezer will be full at the sugarhouse starting on March 3rd! If you have a special request or a larger order, contact us ahead of time for a price list and availability. 


We hope to see many of you during our maple season. It’s a time of year to celebrate the winter thaw and visit with friends, family and neighbors. Back at the main farm, the cows are pretty excited about the warmer weather too. 


A winter visitor has fun with our calf, Osceola!

As always contact us with any questions, price sheet, or order requests.

Thank you again for your support, 

~ The Webb Family 


~Harding Hill Farm~
524 Stagecoach Road
Sunapee, NH 03782
Phone: 603-863-6493
Email: hardinghillfarmnh@gmail.com
Visit: www.hardinghillfarmnh.com