Earliest Season for Sap Flow

by Mary 2/15/2017 3:30:00 PM

With the unusually warm weather, more common for late March or April, the maple sap has started to flow again. Presently, we have 1000 gallons of sap, ready to process through the Reverse-Osmosis machine to increase the sugar content in the sap, prior to boiling. We'll most likely boil tomorrow and perhaps, have our first taste of syrup from the collected sap. The weather forecast for the next week looks favorable for sap flow every day.


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Taps are in! Warm weather arriving!

by Mary 2/9/2017 7:53:00 AM

Our 1000 taps in the sugarbush are now in and as soon as the warm weather arrives, the sap will begin to flow. A few projects remain, such as installing the new vacuum pump, cleaning the stainless steel bulk tanks and reassembling the evaporator. Like last year, spring is arriving earlier and no one knows how long or short the season will last.

The latest forecast calls for unusually warm temperatures, more typical of late March. Though the windchill was -14 yesterday, tomorrow's forecast is for a high of 51! The following graph, from meteorologist Paul Douglas at the Star Tribune, demonstrates spring is arriving early.

January thaw triggers "Maple Fever"!

by Don 2/1/2017 9:50:00 AM

We've just experienced the longest and warmest January thaw since 1992. Having 9 straight days with temperatures above freezing has triggered the urge to begin preparations for the 2017 maple syrup season.

Peter and I traveled to the International Maple Syrup meeting this past October in Burlington, VT., along with other sugar makers from the US and Canada.  Over 400 people attended, representing 19 states and 5 Canadian provinces. We participated in scientific sessions on maple research and are incorporating many of the findings into our maple operation.

Research shows one of the key determinants of premature tap hole closure during the season is contamination of the spiles (the spout placed in the taphole) or tubing used in the collection process.  Studies have compared reusing spiles versus new spiles, and/or replacing portions of tubing over time.  Based on this, we completed the full replacement of over 1,000 droplines and spiles. The droplines are the 3 foot pieces of tubing from the tap hole to the lateral collecting line.

We are excited to tell you of another major innovation of our new "high vacuum" pump which will come on line in the next few weeks. Check back for another update!