Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Grading Samples

Grading Samples, originally uploaded by afka_bob.

This weekend was New Hampshire Maple Weekend where many of the sugar houses open their doors to visitors so that people might get a glimpse into the Maple Sugaring Industry.

From New Hampshire Maple Producers

Each year, the New Hampshire maple industry produces close to 90,000 gallons of maple syrup. Maple sugaring time in New Hampshire runs from mid-February to mid-April.

As the frozen sap in the maple tree thaws, it begins to move and build up pressure within the tree. When the internal pressure reaches a certain point, sap will flow from any fresh wound in the tree. Freezing nights and warm sunny days create the pressure needed for a good sap Harvest.

In late February, New Hampshire maple producers tap their sugar maples by drilling a small hole in the trunk and inserting a spout. A bucket or plastic tubing is fastened to the spout and the crystal clear sap drips from the tree. It is then collected and transported to the sugar house where it is boiled down in an evaporator over a blazing hot fire. As the steam rises from the evaporator pans, the sap becomes more concentrated until it finally reaches the proper density to be classified as syrup. It is then drawn from the evaporator, filtered, graded and bottled. It takes approximately forty gallons of sap to make one gallon of pure maple syrup.

Maple syrup is made in the Northeastern United States and Southeastern Canada, and the maple season usually lasts 4-6 weeks. The days and length of the sap runs depend entirely on the weather.

We hope you will visit a sugar house during the maple season and learn for yourself just how this ancient tradition is carried on. New Hampshire's maple producers take great pride in the high quality of their maple products. Many sugar houses are open throughout the year, selling their pure maple delicacies. Click on our list of sugar houses for further information.

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