I would like to apologize for not keeping up with this blog. It was a busy sugaring season, and while it would have been optimal to write about it as it was happening, there was just never enough time. With classes, the kiddo and family, and the long days and nights of boiling all keeping me busy, any "spare" time was spent sleeping. Now that I am somewhat caught up on sleep (and everything else) I suppose I should recall the highlights of our season.
I have had a lot of "firsts" in our sugar house. My first "date" with my husband, my first time bottling syrup, and, this season, my first time boiling without the hubby home. I never thought the day would come. I had set up, run the evaporator, and shut down everything in the sugar house successfully many times without incident. I have never burned pans, boiled over, or run out of sap. The hubby is just really particular about how things are done and nervous about letting go of the reigns. The slow start to the season didn't help. Most of the sap we gathered had to be saved to boil on the weekends when we had our open sugar house, as the temperatures would drop and the sap wouldn't run when we had visitors. In April that all changed. We had added 150 or so taps on our vacuum line for this season and once mother nature finally started cooperating, we were inundated with sap. Unable to keep up just boiling at night after the hubby was home from work, he finally gave in and let me boil during the day. The first day was nerve wracking and liberating at the same time. I was confident, yet worried, knowing how nervous my husband was. He would text me every ten minutes or so to see how things were going. Every siren he heard throughout the day put him in a panic and he would call to make sure the sugar house wasn't burning down. I had it under control. We run a pretty efficient operation and have many fail-safes in case something should go wrong. Luckily, I never had to hit the emergency shut off switch. Boiling is my favorite part of sugaring, so I was pretty excited to run the show all by myself. There's something about the steam, the sweet smell, and the transformation from sap to syrup that makes boiling so fascinating. There was no way I would screw up my chances of being able to do something I love so much. I followed all of the hubby's rules to a t. My husband became more and more comfortable with me boiling during the day as the season went on. Which was great, because there would have been no way we would have kept up with the amount of sap we had otherwise.
NH started adopting the new syrup grade changes this year. Everything will now be considered grade A (no more grade B). This new system will be used throughout the maple industry, including Canada, Vermont, New York, and others. This season we produced a lot of light grade (or golden delicate) syrup, which is good for us since we use the light to make our yummy maple candy and maple cream with. Luckily, we also made some medium (amber rich), dark (dark robust), and b (very dark strong) for all of our customers to enjoy! Confused by the new grading system or not sure which grade you would like? Just ask! We are always happy to help others enjoy our pure maple syrup and maple products!