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A Little Maple Sugar Every Spring

Just as May’s flowers are brought forth from April’s showers, the cold nights and warmer days of early spring bring us tons of “liquid gold” each year. In fact, the New Hampshire maple industry produces 90,000 gallons of syrup annually.

Here in the Monadnock Region, maple sugaring occurs during the months of March and April. Sap flows up the tree when the temperature rises above 32 degrees and then descends back down to the tree’s roots when the temperature drops. The sap is “harvested” as it moves up and down through the trunk.

Picture miles and miles of plastic tubing, running from trunk to trunk and finally into a bucket (or barrel) for collection. Each bucket is then collected and brought to a sugar house where its’ precious contents are boiled down in an evaporator over a blazing hot fire, a process that hasn’t changed much in the past one hundred years. As the steam rises from the evaporator pans, the sap becomes more concentrated until it finally reaches the proper density to be classified as maple syrup. A process that requires approximately 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of finished syrup.

The maple sugar industry is thriving here in the Region, and you can enjoy the fruit of their labor year-round by purchasing New Hampshire made maple syrup. However, if you’re fortunate enough to be here during the season, you can view the process firsthand at several businesses. Click here for places you'll find Maple Syrup in the Monadnock Region of Southwest New Hampshire.

You can also find maple sugaring going on just about anywhere there’s Maple trees. There are numerous backyard and kitchen “sugar houses” that work through the spring and share their spoils with friends and neighbors.

Making The Grade.

Maple syrup is graded according to color and flavor, using strict standards established by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Grade A Light Amber - Maple Syrup has a light golden color with a delicate maple flavor. This syrup flavor is produced during the season’s first runs.
Grade A Medium Amber - Maple Syrup has a deep golden color with a rich maple flavor. Medium amber syrup is the most popular grade.
Grade A Dark Amber - Maple Syrup has a dark golden color with a more pronounced maple flavor. Dark amber syrup is used for both table and cooking.
Grade B - Maple Syrup has the darkest color, the strongest maple flavor and is produced at the end of the season. It’s often used for cooking.

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