What's Happening

Stop in and say hello

If there is steam we're makin' syrup!!! 

If you drive by and see steam then we're makin' syrup so please Don't stop by and say hello for now because of the Covid-19.  Thank you.    Taste warm syrup right out of the evaporator. Pick up some local syrup for your pancakes. I love to show off my evaporator and my sugar house! I will do my best to answer any questions. Best thing is to call ahead or send an email to make sure we are open.  We are generally open during the late Winter/Early Spring with some other openings a craft fairs throughout the year which you can see below.  Be prepared for mud we are always muddy in the Spring..  'tis the season. 

NH Maple Weekend 2020
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It is with great sadness we have decided to CANCEL our openhouse for maple weekend on March 21st and 22nd. It was not an easy decision to make, but we feel it is in the best interest of not only our family but any visitors as well. The restrictions that we would have to have in the entire operation would be over bearing for us and less enjoyable to the visitors.

     

      The season is still going and we will miss seeing everyone this year, you can still get your maple fix by contacting me through my email:  Bradrice@comcast.net or a Facebook messenger message at Either my page Brad Rice or The Willow Creek Sugarhouse page to place an order.  We can schedule a ball park time for pick up at the farm stand and you can leave the money the Box.  Checks are also fine made out to Willow Creek Sugarhouse or Brad Rice is fine.  I have inserted a price list below of all the items I have available, although some items are limited.  


     Thank you in advance for your support and understanding during this unusual time.
Brad Rice



NH Maple Weekend Open house will be cancelled...   Saturday and Sunday March 21st and 22nd 10am to 3pm.   Stop in and smell the sweet aromas form the evaporator and taste some fresh maple syrup.  We will be boiling sap and giving tours of the sugarhouse, syrup samples, donuts and refreshments.  

We will have Beautiful art work by Heather Crowley of Willow Road Watercolors in the Circle Studio.   As usual We will have 100% maple syrup, maple confections, Local Raw honey from our hives.  Its a good kick start to spring and a chance to get out and get a little mud on your shoes, get some fresh air and smell the sweet steam.   Hope you can join us for all the fun. 

Fine Arts and Sugaring Tour Fall Open House
     
This year I am teaming up with Exeter Area Artists, Galeries, Shops and Crafters to bring the Fine Art and Sugaring Tour (FAST).  FAST will be held on November 2020TBD from 10am to 4pm both days.  Click here for a link to the Facebook page with all who are participating.  Each space has a unique offering from complete galleries to studios to shops that sell local crafters' goods and of course maple syrup.  I will have the evaporator fired up for the weekend and sacrifice a little maple syrup to bring a tease of the sweet smell of spring steam to the sugarhouse and of course I will have all my confections for sale along with some light refreshments.  Make a day or a weekend of it and hit all the spots on our tour.  Talk to the artists see how the creations go from an idea to becoming a finished piece and see some in action.  You may find that perfect piece or gift you have been looking for.     

Exeter Area GFWC Annual Yuletide Craft Fair 
      The craft fair has been Cancelled for 2020: Due to the additions and construction to The Cooperative Middle School, the Exeter Area GFWC could not find a suitable place to have the fair and had to cancel.  They did say they will continue to have the fair in the future when the construction is complete.      







 







Spring 2019

Welcome to my website,

    During maple season most of us maple producers work during the day and maple production becomes our second night job during the season.  My day starts when I roll out of bed at 4 am for my day job which I need to be on my feet all day, then ends when I come in the house at 11 pm or later on boiling days.  We are tired but its all for the love of MAPLE!!! 

    Didn't have the best of seasons in 2019, production was down about 20% for me.  There was more frost in the ground than I have ever seen since we got a good cold spell before the snow came there was deep frost in the ground.  That was followed up with snow storm after snow storm that ended with rain then cold temps to freeze everything solid.  This kept the roots of the tree frozen and I honestly think I had trees that never ran for me this year.  Then we simply ran out of frozen nights to regenerate the trees.  When I was pulling taps I found that the back parts of my woods that are sheltered with tall hemlocks from my neighbor's property the ground was still frozen under the leaves but the tops of the trees had opening buds.  The only saving grace was sap was VERY sweet over 2% sugar for most of the season.  which is close to yielding that 40:1 sap to syrup ratio we all talk about.  
Brad  

           
       New Grading system
        Grade A Golden, Maple syrup delicate taste.....    (same as light or fancy)
        Grade A Amber, Maple syrup Rich taste............    (medium and a little dark) 
        Grade A Dark, Maple Syrup Robust Taste.........    (a little darker than current dark) 
        Grade A Very Dark, Strong Taste.......................    (basically a dark Grade B)   

      In Search Of More Trees
        We are always looking for more trees to tap.  With the increased demand for local syrup, Willow Creek Sugarhouse needs to expand.  So If anyone is local to me, and has woods that are just sitting there why not lease out your trees for maple production.  I will be looking for blocks of maples trees of about 100+ tappable (10 inches in diameter minimum)  trees will need be preferably sugar maples (for buckets) but also can be red, sliver, or norway maples. (these may be located in swampy areas as well).  The leased trees will be based on $$$per tap to the land owner.  All the details will need to be worked out on an individual basis depending on set up and lease agreement.  Will need a 110 power supply at the site for smaller maple orchards and if there are 500 or more trees a 220 line may be needed.  No more than a 10 to maybe 15 minute drive to the sugar bush as the tank will need to be emptied daily as well as pump servicing and turning them on and off as well.  
We are always looking for more road side trees as well.  These must be sugar maples 10" in diameter or greater.  They will also need to be local and sorta on my route of collecting as they will need to  emptied daily.  I usually pay those in syrup depending how many trees there are to be collected from but that can also be negotiated.    
  

               Social Media 
     Please check out my facebook page  and like us there and check things for up to date goings on for everything sugarhouse related.  


     The Farm Stand
              The farm stand is open but could use a stocking of new syrup. I will be bottling syrup shortly.  Please check my Facebook page for updates.  Still very chilly for honey so please reach out via facebook, email or call as the honey will crystalize much faster if it gets cold.  Also if there are other confections you are in need of please ask I usually have a small amount of the other stuff on hand outside of maple weekend and craft fairs.  

             
Bee News            
              As usual my bees didn't make it last year.  I did do 4 new packages again this year. so down sizing again.  The 4 hives I do have are very strong heading into winter and was able to harvest a pretty good amount from 2 of the hives.  As far as the other two, I missed expanding the hive by about 2 days before it swarmed so missed out on honey on that one and the other had queen issues didn't requeen itself fast enough so didn't really get going until it was too late.  but I am hoping I can get them through the winter this year.  Which is supposed to be bad so for some reason they seem to do much better during bad winters.  

            Chickens and Turkeys
           My ladies are getting older and the flock is getting smaller, barely enough eggs for us these days.  Gonna get new chicks next year.  So that being said there will no eggs for sale for until further notice.

            Garden
           Ha the garden... well with the sudden cotton tail rabbit explosion this past year the garden was kind of a bust got a few peppers and tomatoes.  They wiped out the rest so I didn't waste anymore time in there so it all went to weeds. have to rethink things for next year.    

                 New Stuff  
     I am working on another maple spice rub.  This one is an all purpose Chicken seasoning. works on rotisserie, baked, pan seared breasts its delicious.  My family loved the seasoning on anything chicken.  It will be hopefully be ready this fall.  

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