Greetings Monadnock Rotarians
On May 8, Rick had Opening Words. He read a quote written by a relative that is included in a new biography of U.S. Grant written by Ron Chernow. Our guests this morning were Margaret Gurney and our speaker, Jillian Miner of Monadnock Maple Farm, LLC. Rob Harris had “The Hat” and spoke about a lesson learned as a youngster in his grandfather’s garden. After discovering that Rob had weeded only the front of the garden, his grandfather told him there are two ways to do a job—the right way and the wrong way. Since that day, Rob has had the opportunity to repeat those words of wisdom to his own child and grandchild in his garden.
Announcements included the following:
  • On May 15, Jamie Hamilton has Opening Words.
  • We will not have “The Hat” and will use the time to reach a decision about the Wellness Festival.
  • Roadside cleanup is scheduled for the morning of May 12. Invite your friends…it’s a great way to introduce folks to the Club.
  • Our June 12 meeting will be held in the evening at the Community Center. This will be an opportunity for socializing and highlighting our club projects. This is another great opportunity to invite prospective members and friends. Light snacks will be provided and beverages are BYOB. Jerry Branch and Jim Guy agreed to serve as co-chairs for the event.
  • The “Pass the Gavel” party is scheduled for June 26 at the MacDowell Dam.
  • Folks interested in purchasing Monadnock Rotary clothing should see Jerry.
  • The Club will not meet on May 29 in observance of Memorial Day.
Bob Meissner introduced our speaker, Jillian Miner. Jill and her husband, Jonathan Miner founded Monadnock Maple Farm in 2011. They began by selling sap to local syrup producers until their sugar house was built. Their farm has about 1,000 trees. Jill noted that in the 1940’s, NH farmers sold 500,000 gallons of syrup. Today, only about 125,000 gallons are produced in the state. Jon and Jill are first generation maple producers and have slowly added products and new methods to the production system. They use a vacuum system to collect the sap which is easier for the tree and prevents bacteria from entering the trunk. Once the syrup is collected, reverse osmosis reduces the amount to water in the sap which makes the boiling process more efficient. They use an oil fired burner to heat the evaporation pans which also makes the process more efficient.
They usually begin making syrup about Valentine’s Day. Conditions this year were good for sap production with cold nights and an adequate snow cover which promote the flow of sap from the roots to the crown of the tree. The tapping of the trees can be time consuming as new tap holes are drilled each year and the 12 miles of tubing must be checked and repaired. The addition of a new filter system and bottling equipment have made the production more efficient. At the end of the season, the tubing must be washed thoroughly with clean water and the taps removed to protect the health of the tree.
Jill and Jon plan to expand their product line in the next few years to include other agricultural products.
I’ll send out a quick email later this week with more details about the roadside cleanup project scheduled for Saturday morning.