Warm weather only a semi-sweet treat

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POLAND – Sugar maker Peter Bolduc isn’t getting the buckets out yet – but he could if he wanted to.

“This weather we’ve had in January, well it’s out of this world,” said Bolduc, owner and sugar maker of Megquier Hill Farm in Poland. “I had an old-timer here in Poland tell me it’s the first time in his 80 years he’s seen someone out on Tripp Lake in a boat on Christmas Day.”

No doubt you could stick in a tap right now, and sap would come out, but what really makes the sap run is swings in temperature, Bolduc explained Saturday night. And what really makes it good is cold weather.

Sugar makers could tap trees and produce syrup in late fall or early winter, Bolduc said, but because it would give the trees less cold-weather time time to collect, store and convert carbohydrates to sugar, less of the syrup produced would be a high-grade light amber, he said.

The high-quality light amber syrup comes at the start of sugaring the season, he said, when the sap is highest in sugar content. The dark-amber Grade B syrup at end of the sugar season reflects the fact the tree’s sugar supply is getting “tapped out.” And, Bolduc said he thinks the dark amber syrup may appear sooner, rather than later, in this sugaring season.

“Mother nature is a cruel and crafty girl,” he said with a chuckle.

– Heather McCarthy,

Night News Editor

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