New Hampshire’s Most Interesting Mapler Discusses Maple Weekend on March 18 & 19
You know how maple syrup just arrives at the grocery store, and then winds up on your table? Of course you don’t, (flap)Jack – because that’s not at all how it happens.
It’s actually an arduous, delicate process, all so you can smack your lips and enjoy some waffles, pancakes, or French toast. Or pasta – an underrated combo cultivated by Buddy the Elf.
Meet Andrew Chisholm – airline pilot by day, mapler by other day. Walter White if he had eschewed the ills of crystals and embraced the sweetness of maple.
Do his contemporaries know of this dual life?
“A few of them do,” said Chisholm. “I don’t cross the streams too often. Some of the maple producers know that I’m a pilot, but not many, and some pilots know that I’m a maple producer.”
The FAA need not worry. Chisholm, who is also President of the NH Maple Producers Association, resists the urge to make mid-air detours to check on the miles of tubes set up in the woods near his farm in Kingston to reap the benefits of cold nights and warmer days – the magic recipe for producing syrup.
It’s a big time for producers such as Chisolm Farm in Hamptstead, as it's Maple Month in the state of New Hampshire. “This is like our Super Bowl right here this month,” says Chisolm. “We prepare all year for this month.”
Not just for sentimental reasons, but because March is when maplers get to see what kind of haul they’re dealing with (especially tricky, given the bizarre weather we’ve seen this winter).
“This is when that sap flows through those trees, and trees are trying to wake up for spring,” says Captain Maple himself. “What makes that happens is the sap going up through the tree in these cold nights and warm days.”
Chisholm says it’s ideal to have a 20-degree night and a 45-degree day. So, consider that the next time you bemoan New England weather (or complain about a maple shortage). “We’re totally dependent on those temperature swings, from daytime warm to nighttime cold,” he explains.
Saturday and Sunday make up Maple Weekend here in New Hampshire, and Chisolm encourages Granite Staters to find their nearest maple producer by visiting NHMapleProducers.com.