Dozens of sugar shacks across New Hampshire are opening up to visitors for Maple Weekend. A typical operation is Courser Farm’s Sugar King’s shack in Warner. The building is dominated by a huge wood-powered syrup boiler. Visitors pack in almost shoulder-to-shoulder sampling cups of syrup and homemade donuts. Penny Courser is one of several family members who pitch in for the weekend. She says they expect to see anywhere from 200 to 500 people for the weekend.
“We’ve had people out of the country here, we’ve had, you know, a lot of locals, and New England, a lot of New England people," Courser says. "I know we had some people from England one year, and I think somebody had an exchange student from maybe China that came, too. They are very overwhelmed. They had no idea this is where maple syrup came from. They just thought it came from the store," she remembers with a chuckle.
Unusually cold weather has put off the start of sugar season. Courser Farm has only boiled three times so far this year. By this time last year, the farm had already finished production.