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2018 HHF Maple Season - A Sweet End

Posted 4/23/2018 8:15pm by The Webb Family.

Greetings from all of us at Harding Hill Farm!

Maple Season 2018 was one for the record books at Harding Hill Farm! It has taken me a week since our last boil to find the time to write up our final post of the season. Our late ending started blending with spring activities, which led to a chaotic couple of weeks on the farm. Quite honestly, we probably could have boiled more sap… but we decided to pull the plug while we’re ahead. We finished a clean-up and final boil on Monday, April 16th with a final total *drum roll please* of 704 gallons of maple syrup!! To put it in perspective, our best record at HHF prior to 2018 was 577 gallons. We beat that record by a huge margin. It may have been higher if we counted all the maple syrup samples we handed out (or sipped ourselves) during the season. 

There are lot of reasons for our record year, but we will never figure out exactly what made this season so special - a bit of Mother Nature, a bit of good management, and some luck! We collected 37,675 gallons of maple sap from our 1,300 taps in addition to sap gathered from friends/neighbors. We figure our total is better compared to a 1,700 tap operation when you include the purchased sap – with that number considered, we yielded about 22.2 gallons of maple sap per tap. Overall, the sugar content of the sap was low all season but the yield made up for that difference. We calculate that it took an average of 53 gallons of sap to produce 1 gallon of syrup.

We reached pretty far into our firewood reserves to keep the evaporator boiling into the end of the season. Tyler started tapping our maple trees on February 13th and started the first boil on February 19th. We wrapped up the season with a final boil on April 16th and began pulling taps on April 17th. After a week of clean up, we finished pulling the final taps today.

Our maple grades also experienced some interesting fluctuations. The early season syrup yielded an Amber Rich with a brief period of Dark Amber during a very warm spell in February. After a cold snap, the grade bounced back to a Golden Delicate for the first time in 4 or 5 years, yielding about 36 gallons of the light stuff. We held onto the Amber Rich grade for a couple weeks before switching to Dark for the final week of the season. I know many Dark syrup fans were disappointed by our limited supply during maple weekend. We definitely made up for it in the weeks that followed. If you’re looking for Dark syrup, feel free to email us or call for a pickup time at the farm. A big thanks to all our maple fans, friends, families, and our dedicated employee – Brendan, for making this season another success!


In the last week, we juggled many spring tasks. Ty has been busy looking at tree care jobs, doing some small scale pruning, and helping with our cow pedicure day! Our cows are ready to kick up their heels as soon as the pastures green up. In other good news, our employee, Andrew, is back for another season with HHF after a winter hiatus at Mount Sunapee. He spent a lot of time in the woods over the past week pulling taps and flushing lines. Ty and Andrew wrapped up the woods work this week, and Andrew certainly has a knack for picking up all the plastic pieces we might drop in the woods. After all, we try to care for our land so it can take care of us for generations to come.


Where’s Van? He’s been managing some behind the scenes items and will move into spring firewood deliveries soon. He's also looking forward to warm weather, growing hay fields, and more farm projects as we head toward the summer months.

The final news to share – HHF will no longer offer a vacation rental house on the farm. Ty and I are in the process of moving into what was the spare home, previously occupied by Richard & Betsy Webb. We are excited to continue the family legacy while also keeping a closer eye on our farm critters. We hope the move makes farm life slightly easier when we introduce our new addition to the family later this summer. Ready or not, we’re expecting a baby boy at the end of July!

Grass Fed Beef Update

If you visited us late in the sugaring season, you may already know that we are sold out of steaks! We do still have beef available - such as ground beef, roasts, chorizo (taco-seasoned) sausage, italian sausage, and short ribs. We will have a fresh supply of certain cuts available on Memorial Day Weekend. I'll post updates as it gets closer. 

Interested in bulk beef (half or whole cow)? Let us know, and I'll share the details. By the end of this month, I will contact all potential returning customers. If we have open spots after that, I will then contact customers on our waiting list. Our bulk beef is usually available between August and November. 

Looking for firewood to fill up your wood shed after a long cold winter? Contact us by email or phone so we can put you on our list for a firewood delivery. We have green firewood available by the cord at $225 per cord. We also have 1 year old seasoned wood available at $255 per cord. Most local deliveries are free, but contact us to check on your location.

Contact Tyler, our certified arborist, for all your tree care needs! With several major storms this winter, you may find that you have some damaged or vulnerable trees or you're just looking to improve your view or backyard landscape. Tyler offers free consultations for all of your tree pruning, removal, cabling, and/or fertilization needs. 

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