Sap Spouts Surge!

by Don 3/25/2015 3:47:00 AM

We have had a remarkable shift in our weather, with very crisp nights in the 20's and high 30's during the day. We received 5" of wet snow on 3/23 which provided much needed moisture.  Our naturalist friend, Jim Gilbert, said the snow had a moisture content of .43" of water.  This was 3 times what we received for the rest of March!

The sap flows surged to 1 gallon of sap per tap both Monday and Tuesday. We will be quite busy today in the sugarhouse and the forecast looks favorable for the next several days.

Get your favorite maple recipes together . . . you won't need to wait much longer!

Weeping flows continue

by Don 3/19/2015 2:28:00 AM

The unseasonably warm weather for March continues. The warm days have been very pleasant but the non-freezing nights have resulted in a rapid reduction in flow. The amount of sap is being measured in ounces per tap instead of the expected gallons. The volumes have been so meager that we have not been able to use the reverse osmosis or even the evaporator.

 We have used a combination of techniques including ultrafiltration, refrigeration, and germicidal ultraviolet light to maintain the quality of our sap, until we have a large enough volume to process. When we eventually fire up the evaporator,  we'll see if these techniques have been successful. If we are not satisfied with the quality of our syrup, we'll drain our entire system, power wash all equipment and start afresh.

The forecast for this weekend is for nights in the 20s which we will gladly welcome. 

Great Expectations....unmet

by Don 3/14/2015 4:57:00 AM

This week began with anticipated forecasts of daily temperatures hitting 50-60 F. The nights  were projected to get below freezing, however 40's became the norm !

This resulted in sap flow that was marginal at the beginning of the week, and came to a screeching halt by Friday evening, inspite of applying 24" of vacuum.We have only been able to collect and process 1000 gallons of sap from our 900+ taps.

HOWEVER, there is a glimmer of hope today. I awoke to 30 deg. in the sugarbush and anticipate some flow to return. The collection tank deep in our woods has been drained of the 2 day old sap because its exposure to 60 deg.for greater than a day will degrade the quality of the sap due to bacterial contamination. This results in a syrup quality that doesn't meet our high expectations. All the stainless steel tanks have been power washed and equipment is fully operational. And so.....we wait.