maple syrup

 

Keeping the maple syrup flowing for generations to come will be the focus of a panel discussion and pancake breakfast at the University of New Hampshire.

Wednesday's panel includes local maple syrup producers, scientists and others speaking about climate effects on forests and maple trees. Among the speakers are Martha Carlson, a conservationist and educator who owns Range View Farm; Chris Keeley, the climate program coordinator at UNH Cooperative Extension and Jennifer Wilhelm of the New Hampshire Food Alliance.

  It’s the first week of March, about the time we usually see the kickoff to the maple sugaring season. But maple syrup producers are still waiting anxiously for the sap to start flowing.

Howard Pearl joined All Things Considered. He’s a maple producer in Loudon and a director of the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association which represents 400 maple farms in the state.

Sean Hurley, NHPR

Each year the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association honors the state’s best maple producer with the Lawrence A. Carlisle Memorial Trophy.

This year’s winner is the Fadden family, which has been making syrup for some 200 years, and has been producing on its current location in North Woodstock since the 1930’s.

Jim Fadden joined All Things Considered to talk about the award and the sweet old world of maple.

The Sugaring Life

Mar 28, 2014
Charlie Kellogg via flickr Creative Commons

 Maple time in New England brings out the essence of the trees and the character in the people. For those who love trees, a tongue-tip taste of fresh maple syrup is a sacrament, maple communion at the end of a long winter. To ingest the distilled essence of trees confers the spirit of the forest itself.

N.H. Sugar Shacks Open For Maple Weekend

Mar 23, 2014
Amanda Loder / NHPR

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.

This is Maple Weekend in New Hampshire, so we talked with Bodie Peters, President of the NH Maple Producers Association, to get his perspective on how the sap season is shaping up.

With the unusually cold weather we’ve had, are producers actually boiling sap yet?

In southern New Hampshire, yes- in the north, there’s one I know of that did in January during that little warm spell.

How unusual is this season?

Syrup Taste Test With Douglas Whynott: VIDEO

Mar 18, 2014
Sarah Thomas / NHPR

We asked Douglas Whynott to stay a few extra minutes for a sticky challenge: a blind maple syrup taste-test. The aim was to test his ability to distinguish between the various grades of maple syrup.  We sat down with five cups paper cups - three were filled with varieties of grade “A” amber – light, medium, and dark.  There was also a cup with grade “B” syrup, which has a stronger maple flavor and has traditionally been used for cooking, and of course the ringer – a brand-name artificial syrup. And because you can tell a lot by the color of syrup, both Douglas and I donned blindfolds for the occasion – well, not blindfolds exactly.  Our producers tied one of my scarves around Doug’s head, and I wore my winter hat over my eyes, to prevent any accidental or intentional cheating. For good measure, we videotaped the taste test, so you can see for yourselves, there was NO cheating.

Sarah Thomas / NHPR

Today on Word of Mouth, a sweet conversation with a man who knows maple syrup. Emerson writing professor and author, Douglas Whynott joins us to discuss his new book The Sugar Season: A Year in the Life of Maple Syrup and One Family's Quest for the Sweetest Harvest. Plus, we'll put Whynott to the test when he joins Virginia in a blindfolded taste test of 4 grades of authentic, New Hampshire made maple  syrup and one imposter.

Also on the show, Jamie Page Deaton breaks down her list of the top choices for family cars. 

Listen to the full show and click Read More for individual segments.

A Late Start For Sugaring Season

Mar 2, 2014
Maple Sugaring Time
Doug Cadmus / Flickr Creative Commons

Relentlessly bitter temperatures mean maple sugaring season is still a good way off.  That’s according to Beaver Meadow Brook Farm co-owner Barbara Lassonde.   She says typically, her farm in Warner starts seeing sap runs during the last two weeks in February.  

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dougtone/5569497682/in/photostream/" target="blank">dougtone</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

It’ll likely be several more weeks before most of New Hampshire's syrup producers boiling their sap into maple goodness, but there are big ideas and changes in the air these days around syrup production, from new grading standards for syrup-producing states and Canadian provinces, to research on sap that suggests syrup could be produced in a way that's something akin to a row crop. 

Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

All of the pleasure, none of the guilt. Our Saturday show gets you caught up, in a convenient snack pack size. This week….A video game attempts to replicate the experience of autism; spying in space with the help of spectroscopy; a look back to when Peyton Place was in its heyday, almost 60 years ago; the delicious and sweet tradition of capturing maple syrup; making music by “playing” a tower; and a musician gives a private concert in Studio D, then talks about teenage inspiration and her love of pie.

NH Maple Producers Association

It's Maple Weekend in the Granite State.  More than 110 farms and sugar shacks will be open to the public with demonstrations of syrup production, maple products to taste and buy, and hands-on activities. Hippo Editor Amy Diaz has some highlights.

Find a participating sugar shack near you

Want to tap your own? Read up on the basics of D.I.Y. maple tappin'

Sean Hurley

Maple Weekend begins Saturday in New Hampshire, and that means Sugar Houses in the state are open to the public with boiling sap and sweet syrup to sample.  And syrup producers around the state say they are hoping for a strong season this year.

Paul Weeks would rather be in his sugar orchard checking sap lines for leaks or adjusting the boil on his evaporator.  But today’s bitter chill has given him an unwanted break.  

NH Maple Producers Assoc.

As producers prepare for Maple Weekend, New Hampshire Maple Producers Association Treasurer Howard Pearl tells us what maple syrup and other products mean to the state economy- and how the sap is flowing this year.

Courtesy Gloria Zogopoulos

Singer Patti Page died on New Year’s Day in California. She was 85.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dougtone/5569497682/in/photostream/" target="blank">dougtone</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

This weekend is maple syrup weekend in New Hampshire – true, you might not be thinking of sugar and sap given this week’s record breaking temperatures, but more than 100 New Hampshire sugarhouses are opening their doors this weekend and sharing a little of the sweet stuff for visitors.