GILFORD — The season has been a challenge for most maple producers in New Hampshire, and Shepherd's Hut Market is no exception.
"When I finally got a whiff of maple sap boiling I immediately knew that the taste of real NH Maple Syrup wasn't far behind," market owner Joyce Keyser stated. Located at the picturesque Ramblin' Vewe Farm in Gilford, maple season is the second sign of spring. Joyce's husband, Ramblin' Vewe shepherd, Jeff Keyser, has been putting in more taps to assure that as much sap as possible can be collected, but most the time he is busy with the first signs of spring – a crop of beautiful lambs.
Born this year in the frigid coldness of February and March, the lambs have had to learn early how to deal with the cold. "This year we have had lambs warmed up in the kitchen quite a bit, and they don't smell nearly as good as the maple boiling in the evaporator."
Today the evaporator is running with what sap is being collected, and from the evaporator you can clearly look into the barn and see the many little faces looking back.
Jeff and Joyce Keyser invite the public to come to a special spring celebration on Saturday, April 12 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and Sunday, April 13 between the hours of noon – 3 p.m. to see their small maple operation and visit the lambs. If the sap is still running, the evaporator will allow guests to smell the delicious aroma of maple syrup. "The Maple season is probably going to be a short one, so we are eager to share this time with our friends around the Lakes Region."
There will be an educational display and coloring sheets for the children, and tastings of several maple products and Two Sisters Garlic Jellies. There will also be a demonstration of use of the spinning wheel.
The celebration is located at 637 Morrill Street in Gilford. For directions or more information, contact Joyce Keyser at 527-1873.