Wednesday, March 30, 2011

One More Weekend of Maple Tours

The cold days of mid-March are warming to April, and the sap is flowing! We expect a beautiful weekend to close out our Maple Tours at The Rocks Estate. 

More than 600 folks have enjoyed the tours so far this season… make sure you get in on the fun by joining us this weekend. Tree tapping, horse-drawn wagon rides, a tour of a working sugar house, and samples of the good stuff – pure maple syrup – are all part of the New Hampshire Maple Experience

“This may be the most pleasant weekend to be at the farm for the program and to see the sap flow,” says Rocks manager Nigel Manley.

Come see for yourself!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Tasty Tradition

Steam billowing from sugar houses tucked into the woods is a sure sign of spring in New Hampshire, where boiling the sap of sugar maple trees down to maple syrup and sugar has been a tradition in for centuries.

The New Hampshire Maple Experience takes visitors on a tour through time and taste, sharing the history and sweet secrets of making maple syrup.

There are two weekends of Maple Tours left this spring at The Rocks Estate. From tapping a tree to tasting the finished product, the tour is a sweet experience!

The famous Polly’s Pancake Parlor is also on hand, serving up piping hot pancakes, and our shop features New Hampshire made crafts and edibles.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Maple Experience for Everyone

At the New Hampshire Maple Experience, there’s more to maple sugaring than tapping trees and boiling sap. Maple Tours here run weekends through April 3rd. With a dash of history, a slice of how to, and a taste of sweetness, the tours offer fun and facts for all ages.

Kids love to help tap a tree and pat Mac and Duke – the huge Shire draft horses that pull wagons full of visitors around the historic and picturesque Rocks Estate. Prospective sugar makers learn the ins and outs of making maple syrup, from how to identify and properly tap sugar maples, to what it takes to boil sap into syrup. The interactive tour illustrates the centuries-old tradition of making maple syrup, and visitors see first-hand how the process has evolved with a walk through the Maple Museum. Of course, everyone loves the fresh donuts dipped in maple syrup, with a sour pickle on the side to counter the sweetness – all part of the tour!

The tour takes about two hours to complete, and you’ll want to spend some time browsing the small shop of New Hampshire-made crafts and maple goods – and to try some yummy pancakes made by the folks from the famous Polly’s Pancake Parlor in nearby Sugar Hill. This is one Experience you won’t want to miss!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Time to Make the Syrup!

The sap is running, and it's time to make this year's batch of yummy maple syrup at the New Hampshire Maple Experience.

Our Maple Tours run weekends through April 2. With hands-on learning, tasty treats, and unbeatable scenery, the tours are fun for maple lovers of all ages. Find out more at the New Hampshire Maple Experience.

Pictured here is fourth-generation sugar maker Brad Presby, hard at work boiling the sap down into syrup - and sharing some of the secrets of sugaring with Maple Tour visitors.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Fleeting Sweetness of Spring

Most folks love the sweet taste of maple syrup. So why is it only produced during the short period when winter turns to spring? There are a few reasons:
·         Sugar makers rely on a combination of warm, sunny days and below-freezing nights to collect sap from sugar maple trees. The warmer days create pressure within the trees, causing sap to flow. If you tap a hole correctly into a tree, that sap will flow out the hole and into the metal bucket or plastic tubing sugarers use to collect it. Cool nights create suction within the trees, drawing water up through the roots and into the tree, thus replenishing the sap, so the whole process can be repeated.
·         While sugaring season typically lasts about six weeks, the sap doesn’t flow every day – the weather has to be just right. A quick rise in temperature during the day will enhance sap flow, but a cool day can slow it to a stop.
·         Once the leaves on the maples bud, the sap turns from sweet to bitter, and the sugar making season comes to a close.

Sugaring season is fleeting, but that makes it all the sweeter! To learn more about how maple syrup is made, check out the season’s maple tours at the New Hampshire Maple Experience

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Maple Tours Start March 12th!

With the combination of cool nights and warm days, the sap is flowing here in the North Country of New Hampshire – and that means it’s maple sugaring time! Sugarers are looking to tap their sugar maple trees soon to start gathering the sweet sap to boil into maple syrup and sugar.

At the New Hampshire Maple Experience, we invite visitors from near and far to experience the joys of sugaring – and sample the finished product – during our Maple Tours. Participants will enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride around the picturesque and historic Rocks Estate in Bethlehem, learn how to identify trees, help tap sugar maples, and visit the interactive New Hampshire Maple Experience museum and sugar house to see the process in action.

Tours run weekends through March, and the first weekend of April. To learn more about the New Hampshire Maple Experience and to reserve your Maple Experience Tour, please visit us online.

To see a video on how to tap a sugar maple, visit our YouTube page.