•  Sugarmaker David Fuller of Fuller's Sugarbush in Jefferson, N.H. watches sap gush through 1.5 inch wet/dry mainlines inside his sugarhouse on April 7. Fuller had a record day on April 4, making 875 gallons in a single boil.

  •  Jillian Miner of Grand Monadnock Maple Farm in Harrisville, N.H. on April 6 points to her busy releaser. The farm had made 300 gallons off 800 taps so far in their biggest season ever.

  •  Kevin Brannen of Spring Break Maple & Honey in Smyrna, Maine fires on April 7. Brannen was enjoying high sugar content this season, averaging 2.9 to 3.0 percent.

  •  David and Lindsey Harvell, with daughter Teagan boil on April 7 at their sugarhouse in Wilton, Maine. "We're 15 gallons away from our low season average," David Harvell said, hoping to get another week out of the season.

  •  Kevin Brannen of Smyrna Mills, Maine checks the sap on April 7. Sap has been coming in high in sugar, like most sugarmakers in the U.S. this season.

  •  The sample window at Jillian and Jon Miner's sugarhouse in Harrisville, N.H. "We've boiled for 16 days straight," Jillian Miner said, pushing toward a record season for their farm.

  •  Jillian and Jon Miner, with 15-month-old daughter Louisa, outside the sugarhouse in Harrisville, N.H. on April 6. The couple made more than 300 gallons on 800 taps, capping their best season ever.

Season Update #8: Season finishing strong for most

High sugar content a common theme


HARRISVILLE, N.H.—The season is turning around in a hurry, with big sap runs finishing out what had been a sluggish season and making it into a winner.

“We’ve been boiling for the last 16 days straight,” said Jillian Miner, who with husband Jon makes syrup off 800 taps at Grand Monadnock Maple Farm in Harrisville, N.H.  “We’re tired.”

The Miners were coming to the end of their season during a tour for The Maple News on Saturday, April 6 and had broke 300 gallons of production for the first time in their sugaring career.  

“We’re running out of containers,” Miner said.

Near the New Brunswick border, Kevin and Kristi Brannen of Spring Break Maple & Honey in Smyrna Mills, Maine were only on their third boil of the season on April 7 but had no worries.

“It’s not that late for us,” Kevin Brannen said.  “I think we have the potential to have a real good season.”

Sap was coming in hard for the Brannens and sugar content was extraordinary, with 2.9 to 3.0 percent sap.

In Wilton, Maine, David and Lindsey Harvell were getting close to the end of a good season, but were hoping for a few more days.

“There’s still a lot of snow out there so we’re hoping to squeeze a little more out,” Harvell said.

In Jefferson, N.H., sugarmaker David Fuller was enjoying a big season on his 16,500-tap operation.

“The last ten days have been pretty impressive,” Fuller said on April 7.  

He had made 5,665 gallons so far, including making 875 gallons in a single day on April 3, a record for Fuller.

Meanwhile, in the Midwest an early Spring snowstorm this week has slowed down the trees.

“Mother Nature is not done with us yet,” said Chris Binder of Arpin, Wisc.  

Central Wisconsin and other locales in the Midwest got over a foot of snow in some areas, with another two inches of rain on top of that.

“It was a real mess.  I buried the four wheeler in the woods,” Binder said.

He was hoping to get another week out of his season.

“It’s gonna be a fight to the finish,” he said.

Terry and Rae Fritz of West Branch, Mich. were planning on pulling taps tomorrow, ending an epic season.

“It was beautiful,” Rae Fritz told The Maple News on Friday.

The couple made more than 200 gallons off of 400 taps, making all of their crop the old fashioned way, on kettles.

In what seems to be a common theme throughout the maple industry this year, they had very high sugar content in the sap.

“The highest sugar reached 3.6 and the lowest was 3.2,” Rae Fritz said.  “We were doing really good on sugar content.”