March 21, 2012
The season is over for this year. Our last run of sap was on March19. We are still tallying up our production but it looks like 70 to 75%. Much better than we expected but well below our normal output. The cleaning up process is now underway. The camp will be open for syrup pickup all week and on the weekend. The Kettle Boys are returning on the weekend for a final show and tell.
The resident red shouldered hawks have returned to both our sugar bushes and are screaming their displeasure as we walk around working on our pipe lines. A neighbour reported the return of a pair of red tailed hawks in his maple bush. This morning a bluebird appeared at our nesting box and a phoebe is singing nearby. Its great to see the birds returning and we hope the weather remains warm now that they are here.
March 15, 2012
We had some frost last night so we may have some sap later today. We are currently experiencing some freezing rain but it is forecast to warm up quickly. due to the weather the Kettle boys will not be here today but the main camp will be in operation off and on and the sales room is open.
March 13, 2012
We have had steady runs of sap since Sunday. However, the weather is turning very warm with no frost at night so we are concerned about the season which may end early. The Kettle boys will be here on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week. We still have snow on our trails so rubber boots are necessary for a walk in the woods. The snow is fast disappearing and may be gone by Thursday or Friday.
March 11, 2012
Looks like a perfect day at the sugar bush. Its sunny and warming up so the sap should run well. All our activities are active and we have light and medium syrup for sale as well as maple butter, maple candy and maple tarts.
March 9, 2012
We had a nice run of sap as predicted and made some very nice light syrup. We also had a surprise run of sap today as the temperature rose above zero, in spite of the weather forecast. We will be boiling tomorrow and the Kettle Boys will also be in operation. The forecast is for a cool but sunny afternoon and the Sunday forecast looks even better.
March 7, 2012
We expect a run of sap today and tomorrow as the temperature has changed dramatically from -20 Celsius to a forecast +12. There will be no frost tonight so the sap may run all night. It’s appears the season is finally underway after some early short runs of sap. We should have fresh syrup for the weekend if everything goes according to plan.
March 3, 2012
Well we wanted more snow and we got about 10 inches. It will be a few more days until the weather warms. The extra snow will add moisture for the trees and will help maintain a lower temperature in the sugar bush even if the temperature goes above 8 degrees. We have syrup for taffy and some maple sugar and maple butter prepared so our camp will be open on Saturday and Sunday.
February 26, 2012
Today was a beautiful sunny but cool day and too cold for sap. We did make our first syrup on February 24. Very good first run flavour. The coming week will be too cold for sap so we don’t expect another run until March 5. Our camp will be open daily starting March 3.
February 24, 2012
We have set a new record for the start of the season. The sap ran on February 22 and February 23 so we have enough to make some syrup today. Its has started to snow and we are expecting about 10 cm or so, which would be good for the maple season. The sap has only 2% sugar content but may become sweeter as tree roots thaw releasing the stored sugar.
February 20, 2012
The weather today is clear and cold but a warming trend is forecast for later this week We are finishing tapping today and will be ready in case there is a sap run this week. there is about six to eight inches of snow in the bush with a hard crust which makes moving about on snowshoes very easy. We are fortunate to have snow as many areas in the USA and western Ontario have virtually no snow.
January 17, 2012
Preparations are underway for the new season. This year we have re tubed the sugar bush on Wolf Grove Road and installed new check valves spouts. We used these spouts in the Clayton bush last year with excellent results. The check valve has a small ball in the spout which permits the sap to flow out of the tap hole but prevents back flow.This keeps the tap hole cleaner and prolongs sap flow. The idea was patented many years ago but was impractical to make prior to the advent of plastics.
The weather this year, to say the least, has been unpredictable. It has been warmer than usual and so far not as much snow. We always want a good snow cover to provide moisture and prolong the spring warm up. We plan to be ready for sap earlier than usual this year in case the warm weather continues.