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2019 HHF Maple Season is Almost Here

Posted 3/8/2019 8:26am by Harding Hill Farm.

Greetings from all of us at Harding Hill Farm!

Will spring EVER arrive? We continue to watch the long term forecast and hope for those 40 high/20 low temperature days that are perfect for maple sugaring. It seems late this year, but those in the industry a long time may say its right on time. Over the last several years, sugaring has arrived early due to unseasonably warm temperatures – Feb. 20th 2018, Feb 20th 2017, and Feb 1st 2016. Those start dates made it a challenge to get our woods and sugarhouse set up for the season before the sap got ahead of us. This year is quite different.

 

Ty has slowly prepared the sugarbush for the season – tapping over the course of several weeks. He started the process of drilling taps on Feb 13th, and we expect a total of approximately 1,300 taps again this year. While we wait, he is using the cold weather to finish up winter logging jobs while the frozen ground still allows. Check out our update ‘From the Woods’ below. With sugaring weather in the forecast next week, we are making the final preparations this weekend.

For those anticipating our open sugarhouse weekends, we kick off the season on March 16th and 17th with tours and fresh samples (see details below). Our son, Brooks, at nearly 8 months old will experience his first maple season! Also be sure to congratulate Van on his milestone – 50 years in the sugarhouse! We are excited to catch up with family, friends and neighbors as we welcome the signs of spring (finally!)


Kick off the Maple Season - First Open Sugarhouse

March 16th - 10am till 4pm
March 17th - 11am till 4pm
Our first official open house of the season!

Join us for a New Hampshire Family Tradition to celebrate sugaring season at Harding Hill Farm! Visitors share in the sights, smells, and taste of fresh maple syrup while enjoying a tour about how its made. 

Our farm products available for sale:
Maple Syrup (various plastic and glass containers)
Our own Grass Fed Beef (steaks, ground beef, chorizo, and more!)

Don't miss the highlight of the season!
March 23rd & 24th - Maple Weekend

Celebrate the traditional NH Maple Weekend with HHF!
Detailed tours and a variety of samples and snacks

Mark your calendars for these additional open sugarhouse weekends:
March 30th and 31st
April 6th and 7th

Reminder: The HHF sugarhouse is located at 131 Route 103 in Sunapee just below Wendell Vet Clinic. If you head to our main farm, you might find the cows but not much maple syrup!


From the Woods...

It’s been quite awhile since we worked on a project in our own woods. Van, within a prescribed forestry plan, managed a cut in our Webb Forest lot in Sunapee this winter with Tyler and Mike doing most of the cutting. Our woods have a large and aging inventory of white pine so that was our focus. It’s becoming increasingly important to focus on these large trees before our unpredictable windy/icy weather patterns take care of business for us. In the 4 acre patch cut along the Harding Hill Rd pastures, we cut over 200 trees! We hope for a natural regeneration of oak, yellow birch and sugar maple to add to our heavy pine forest. In the meantime, wildlife will enjoy the many features that a patch cut offers. In another area, our goal was to thin out the large trees in order to release pole sized oak and make room for oak and pine to regenerate. With the ground still frozen, we continue to make progress on this project. By the end of the harvest, we should ship between 150,000 and 175,000 board feet of pine.

It’s fun to look at the history in these woods. Richard Webb bought the property in 1948 and started noncommercial thinning and pruning as early as 1955. Van (son) is now making his fourth harvest in these woods and Tyler (grandson) is working on his second.

 

Last month, we took a break from the timber harvest to work on clearing a house lot in Sunapee for a family member. Tyler subcontracted a feller buncher to clear cut the driveway access and house lot. The woods contained early successional white birch and red maple with a diameter range of 3-8 inches. The machine cut for eight hours on a one and half acre clearing. If we cut it by hand, it would have taken us two to three weeks! Tyler took on the task of skidding out the saleable logs and chipping the rest. He brought almost 110 tons of chips to the power plant in Springfield. Not too shabby for a quick winter project.


Firewood - Get your 2019 order in

It’s that time of year. We started taking orders for 2019 green firewood. Deliveries begin in April/May depending on when sugaring season wraps up. Get your firewood order in by email or phone call as soon as possible! We sell out every year. Our price for green firewood is $255 per cord.


Tree Care Services

Harding Hill Farm offers a variety of services to meet your tree care needs – pruning, cabling, fertilizing, and removals. Tyler is a certified arborist and professional logger with a forestry degree from Paul Smith’s College. He offers free consultations with recommendations, itemized estimates, and proof of insurance upon request with every job.

We are thankful for a growing client base and increased demand for services in the Sunapee region. Our season for residential work starts after sugaring season (once the roads are no longer posted) and usually ends with the first snow before Christmas. Thanks to an early start to winter last November, Tyler has many carryover projects into 2019. He is currently booking out into early June. Have a potential project on your property? Do not hesitate to contact us.


Attention Grass Fed Beef Fans!

As always, we start the maple season with plenty of grass fed beef in the freezers. A variety of retail cuts will be available during our open house weekends. All beef cuts are USDA inspected, vacuum sealed, and frozen to assure a quality product. Have you tried our Chorizo sausage yet? It’s become one of our most popular items. Don’t forget to show up for some delicious samples during our annual Maple Weekend celebration March 24th and 25th.


We hope to see many of you during our maple season. It’s a time of year to celebrate the winter thaw and visit with friends, family and neighbors. After a long winter, we are ready!

 

As always contact us with any questions, price sheet, or order requests.

Thank you again for your support, 

~ The Webb Family 


~Harding Hill Farm~
524 Stagecoach Road
Sunapee, NH 03782
Phone: 603-863-6493
Email: hardinghillfarmnh@gmail.com
Visit: www.hardinghillfarmnh.com