|Sugar Shack at Burleigh Farm|
The event was sponsored by the Squam Lakes Conservation Society, Squam Lakes Association, and the Lakes Region Conservation Trust which holds the conservation easement on 1500 acres of forest and farmland that protects the home of all those maple trees. A knowledgeable team was on had to explain the process and answer everyone's questions.
|Matt Evans describes the complete process from tree to jug|
|The final product ready for tasting|
|Collecting sap straight from the tree|
With that quantity of sap to process, the sugar house has been updated with modern technology. The raw sap is processed through a reverse osmosis membrane system which concentrates the sugar content from about 2% straight from the tree up to 14% after two passes through the system.
|Peter Webster explains the membrane system|
This greatly reduces the amount of boiling required. After being concentrated by reverse osmosis it is finished in a good old fashioned open boiler, but heated with oil or propane rather than wood.
|The final boil|
But from the outside, it has all the appearance of a traditional New England sugar shack.
Later, back closer to home, I saw that the Chemung Gang sugar shack was boiling away as well, still doing it the good old fashioned way!
The lakes sure don't look much like spring, but nonetheless there was a nice reminder that spring is coming: I saw my first loon of 2018 fly overhead one afternoon - apparently we are not only ones watching the lakes, waiting to see some open water. And wait we will, as there are still 21 inches of ice on Lake Wicwas.
|Thick ice remains even where it is hanging in air because the lake has dropped|
|It's going to be a while before this mass of snow and ice lets the loons come home|
|Wind and sun etched away the softer snow, leaving the packed tracks protruding up|
|The Mill Dam in the Page Pond Town Forest|
|More apples still to fall for the hungry spring animals|
A final note, as bears are one of those hungry, spring animals, NH Fish and Game reminds us: Spring is Here: It's Time to Take Take Down Birdfeeders!
|Photo by NH Fish and Game|