March 20, 2013

Syrup makers worry sap's in short supply

N.H. farmers preparing for Maple Weekend bemoan the cold that's holding up production.

The Associated Press

GILFORD, N.H. – Freezing temperatures have some farmers concerned that they won't have enough sap to boil during the 18th annual Maple Weekend in New Hampshire, just a few days away.

"It has been in the teens at night," said Armand Bolduc of Bolduc Farm in Gilford. "That's too cold. The trees are frozen."

He told The Citizen there's no sap flowing right now, preventing his sugarhouse from gathering up gallons of sap to boil this weekend. The farm is one of more than 110 sugarhouses in the state scheduled to hold activities. The events usually attract a lot of out-of-state visitors.

"It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup; you got to have a lot of sap stored up to make a boil," Bolduc said.

Bob Hamel, who helps run the Bolduc sugar shack, says if temperatures hold steady in the 40s during the day and there's sun, the sap can run again. Temperatures also can't get lower than the 20s.

Dennis Cormier of Cormier's Sugarhouse in Alton said he's had no sap running for the last three days.

"This is not an unusual season," he said, "it is just that we all would really like the sap flowing for the weekend."

Hamel said people travel from far and wide to see the production of maple syrup. "It is only a four- to six-week season," he said.


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