Unpredictability Reigns!

by Don 3/23/2017 5:47:00 PM

Our unusual weather conditions during March have surprised and intrigued meteorologists and naturalists alike.  The ice on Whaletail Lake went out on March 5th, the earliest we have recorded.  Five days later, the lake froze over again when Arctic weather descended upon us. The sap flow ceased and didn't restart for 13 days! Today, the lake ice vanished for the second time. I make no predictions about the lake - or the weather!

With the recent warmup, the trees have responded with sap flows of over 2 gallons per tap on the last 2 "runs"! We consider this to be a great flow, - normally, we might get 1/2-1 gallon of sap/tap. We are on pace for setting a new, all time high in maple syrup yield!

Our sap remains at 2.5% sugar, which is average for our sugarbush. This translate to 34 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup.  The quality of the finished syrup has been outstanding, with rich amber color and unmistakable smooth maple flavor that lingers on the palate (if you let it linger!)

We  are excited for our busy day tomorrow, anticipating record syrup production, as we have over 2000 gallons of sap to process.!

Frigid Temps Receding -

by Mary 3/15/2017 7:44:00 AM

We've been stuck in a cold rut, for what seems like a very long time. After an amazing run of sap on March 6-7, the temperatures plummeted and all lines froze rock solid. There wasn't anything to do but bottle maple syrup, so we're now well-supplied for filling orders.

The forecast looks very promising for sap flow and making more maple syrup for the next6-7 days. With Spring arriving on Monday, March 20th, we hope we've experienced the last of winter's cold, but being the month of March, temperature swings are common. Here is the latest temperature graph, from Paul Douglas' blog in the StarTribune:



Largest Sap Flow in 25 Years!

by Peter 3/6/2017 6:40:00 AM

From 10:00 Sunday morning until 6:00 Monday morning, we collected between 2200 and 2500 gallons of sap from our nearly 1000 taps.  Typically we consider getting one gallon of sap per tap to be a pretty good run.  To get an average of almost two and a half gallons is something we've never seen in the 25 years we've been making syrup.  At the peak of the run we were collecting 180 gallons of sap per hour!

We continue to be amazed by the quantity of sap that we are gathering so early in the season.  As previously posted, we've never made syrup in February.  By March 1st we were up to 105 gallons!  Yesterday we made 40 gallons of Grade A Dark Robust syrup, bringing our total 145 gallons.  

The forecast for this upcoming week predicts temperatures will return to more seasonally normal levels with highs in the 30's.  The 15 day forecast looks good for continued syrup production.  Below is Paul Douglas' temperature predictions.  We look for days that straddle the freezing point. You can see looking at the chart below that a shift of 5-10 degrees can make a big difference in potential sap flows.  From Wednesday to Wednesday we might have perfect weather if it is slightly warmer than predicted or things might freeze up and we won't get any sap if it is cooler than predicted.  Time will tell!