The Importance of a Vacuum System

When we think about ideal sap weather – it’s warm sunny days followed by frosty nights. True enough, sap runs well when we have traditional ideal conditions – but sometimes it also runs when we think it shouldn’t. We have had no frost since Sunday March 13th as rain, fog and dreary weather have settled in, however, we have had a terrific, continuous run of sap. What is going on? Well, the sap has been running day and night thanks to our vacuum pumping system. During this period, we have not collected a single drop of sap in our buckets. (Note that vacuum pumps have been a best practise in the maple industry for over 3o years and all the research has proven that it causes no adverse effects on our trees.) For vacuum pumps to draw sap, the pipeline system must be airtight – which is a tall order considering that we have about 46 kilometres of pipelines throughout our farms. Maintaining these systems requires hours of walking and fixing leaks on a daily basis. Much of this is done on snowshoes without trails! It is work, but one of the most enjoyable aspects of sugar making for those of us that like to be in the woods.
While we may not be sure that a tree makes a noise when it falls in the forest – we do know that it will likely fall on as many pipelines as it can reach!
Since the sap has been running day and night – we are too – happily I will add. We have plenty of wonderful light and medium grade syrup on hand now.

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