There hasn’t been this kind of cold in January for quite a few years. It will be interesting to see how these extensive cold patterns affect things in the next few weeks when we typically begin our sugar season. Yesterday we attended the annual NH Maple Producers winter meeting. The topic of the day was moving NH forward in adapting it’s state maple regulations to align with the newly established international grading standards. The NH Department of Agriculture was on hand to outline the proposed changes to the existing language and ask for input from producers. There will be a public hearing sometime over the summer when the new language is ready to go forward. The new grading will allow all maple producing states and provinces to have the same labeling for their syrup. The benefit is meant to help the consumer find the same flavor grade wherever they buy their syrup thus avoiding some of the confusion between light, fancy, dark, extra dark, amber etc. One state has adopted these new standards for this year and we hope NH will be ready to implement them starting next year.
On another note, we can’t keep the feeders filled for a day at a time with the cold. The birds and squirrels are stripping them constantly. The wood pile for the house is getting used up pretty quickly too as the wood stove has been put to extra duty. We bought this stove shortly after we first moved here. We guess we have had it for 35 years and it’s always performed great. Of course we have had little incidents like Fisher Price people getting put down the vents that had to be fished out and a squirrel that got stuck in the chimney trying to come out through the stove connection. Stay warm and stay tuned for progress on the sugaring season.