Maple sugaring season is here and we couldn't be more excited! In honor of this special time of year, the folks here at Ben's Sugar Shack will share with you what, exactly, March Maple Madness is all about. We also explore the maple harvesting and sugaring process with you, while sharing some of the most exciting ways you can celebrate this exciting time of year with us. So grab yourself a cup of Ben's famous maple coffee, sit back, relax, and enjoy the read.
What Is Maple Sugaring Season, Exactly?
Beginning in mid-to-late February each year, the warm, sunny days heat the maple trees here in New Hampshire and they begin to warm up, allowing for the frozen sap to thaw and move within the tree. The combination of warmth during the day and freezing temperatures at night creates pressure within the maple trees, which is essential for a bountiful maple sap harvest. As internal pressure builds within the tree, it reaches a certain point that sap is then able to flow smoothly from any wound on the tree.
By the beginning of March, the Ben's Sugar Shack team, and the other New Hampshire maple syrup producers, can tap the maple trees for their sap. This age-old sugaring process involves drilling small holes with hand-held drills in the maple trees we cultivate for harvesting, and then inserting a spout directly into the hole in the tree to draw out the sap. Using tubes and buckets to capture the sap, we can then transport the freshly harvested sap to our sugar houses where we can begin making our award-winning,100-percent pure maple syrup.
Once the sap has been transported to our sugar houses, we boil it down using an evaporator and extremely hot temperatures. Through the process of evaporation, the steam rises, making the sap much more concentrated. As this happens, the sap reaches the ideal density and can then be classified as maple syrup. We then draw the syrup from the evaporator and we can begin filtering and grading it before it is bottled for your enjoyment!
Now that you know a little more about the sugaring process, let's explore some of the fun ways you can celebrate this sweet time of year here in New Hampshire.
Ways to Celebrate The Sweetest Time of Year
Here are some fun tours and activities perfect for the whole family!
Take a Tour of Our Sugar House
We love when fellow maple syrup lovers and connoisseurs come to visit us here at Ben's Sugar Shack. We really enjoy showing others how make our delicious maple syrup and we'd be honored if you came and toured our sugar house during Maple Month.
If you want to visit, learn, and explore nature's sweetest resource, we'll be offering free tours every weekend starting March 2 through April 14 on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm. We invite you to learn all about the entire maple sugaring process from our team of friendly, knowledgeable maple syrup experts. Bring your questions, too, as we always enjoy engaging with our community. Follow the link to learn more about our 2019 Maple Tours.
Enjoy a Wagon Ride and a Free Breakfast
There's something extra special about taking a ride on a wagon through forests of gorgeous, towering maple trees on crisp New England day in March. You can take in the majestic sites, sounds, and smells of New Hampshire each Saturday and Sunday in March through early April. On your wagon ride, you'll see the steam clouds billowing into the sky from the trees and smell the aroma of sap transforming into sweet maple syrup. It's definitely something everyone should experience at least once in their life — especially if you love maple syrup.
Along with a fun wagon ride, you can enjoy a free breakfast served by your favorite sugar house. Enjoy a heaping stack of pancakes dripping with sweet and delicious pure maple syrup tapped just for you. This is the perfect way to start or end a weekend!
Sample Our Tasty Maple Syrup Products
While you're visiting our sugar shack, indulge in free samples of our most popular maple syrup products. From maple cotton candy, maple roasted nuts, and maple donuts to real New Hampshire maple creemees and sugar on snow, you can enjoy all the best maple goodies to your heart's content.
Get Your Own Maple Equipment and Supplies
Thinking about making your own maple syrup? Talk to our team about maple equipment and supplies. Here at Ben's, we're a full-service maple equipment supplier. Our experts can help you choose the best equipment to fit your needs for making your own maple syrup. From home tapping kits, bottles and containers, tap buckets, and spiles to tubing, filters, tools, and evaporators, we have everything you need to start your own sugaring operation. Talk to our experts during your tour or visit Ben's online to shop for equipment and have it delivered right to your door.
Join Us In Celebrating March Maple Madness!
Don't these tours and activities sound like a blast? We sure think so, and we would love for you to join us in celebrating this super sweet time of year! The 24th Annual Maple Weekend in New Hampshire is March 23-24, 2019, when all the fun happenings take place, but you can come by and take a tour of our sugar house every weekend beginning March 2 and ending April 14. We would love to share our maple sugaring process with you and teach you all about the history of maple sugaring in New Hampshire, as well as the history of Ben's Sugar Shack.
If you want to celebrate Maple Month every day in the comfort of your own home, shop Ben's for our award-winning, 100-percent pure New Hampshire maple syrup and the tastiest maple syrup products. We recommend celebrating Maple Month by enjoying a heaping stack of fluffy pancakes drizzled with Ben's ooey gooey maple syrup every day! We look forward to seeing you and sharing in the excitement of this delightfully sweet time of year.
Visit the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association, Inc. to learn more about all the fun local events happening around the state.