In the late ‘80s a friend of Brian and Sue Folsom called then up one spring to ask if they had any sugar maple trees. Since spring was a quiet time on their dairy farm they wanted to try making maple syrup.
"Brian tapped our trees for them and delivered the sap whenever it ran. After the season was over they rewarded us with some of that years’ fresh maple syrup. It was wonderful!," says Sue.
"This experience got us interested in the process so the next spring they asked if they were going to do it again. Having decided not to, we asked to borrow their equipment so we could. They agreed and we tapped our trees, Brian built an open fire hearth in the back yard and we boiled our sap and made half dozen quarts of syrup (albeit a bit smoky).
"The next several years we read all we could to learn more, we traveled to sugar houses throughout NH and Vermont and Brian would ask questions from the sugar makers we met. By 1990 we had moved into our woodshed to keep out of the rain and snow while boiling and we knew we were hooked. That year Brian convinced me we needed a sugar house. He built it that summer and fall and we opened to the public in the spring of 1991. It’s been a joy ever since," says Sue.
The sugar house, located in Chester, has had several improvements in the last 15 years. The woodshed wall was knocked out to make more room for visitors to move around. The evaporators were upgraded from a used 2’x 8’ English tin evaporator to a used 3’ x 8’ stainless to the new 3’ x 8’ welded stainless pans. See information about the process. Eventually a maple shop area was added to keep the products out of the steamy environment of the sugar house. Folsom's Sugar House has been a member of the NH Maple Producers Association since 1990. They were selected by the NH Department of Agriculture as one of 10 Farms of Distinction for 2006.
For more information, email Folsom's Sugar House.
The Newmarket Farmers' Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Stone Church parking lot through October 10th. The weekly vendors offer fresh and organic food choices.
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