Biggest Storm of the Winter

We received about 15 cm of snow overnight and a bit more today. Due to the snow our camp is closed today. It will take us most of the day to clear the snow and we plan to open as usual tomorrow. The snow is actually welcome as it adds to the moisture for our trees and will also keep the sugar bush cooler when the warm weather finally arrives.

A Taste of Spring in the Forecast

After a snowy week a warm spell is in the forecast. We are not tapped yet so we will miss this run of sap. The first run of sap is usually very low in sugar content as the trees take a prolonged spell of warm weather to thaw and bring fresh sap up from the roots. There is almost two feet or 50 cm of snow on the ground so snowshoes will be necessary as we start tapping this weekend.We will have three teams of two people and we should be able to put in 3000 t0 4000 taps. It will be slow going in the deep snow.

 

Easter Monday

Yesterday was a beautiful day at the sugar bush. Over the years Easter Sunday, regardless whether early or late, has always been a day when the sap runs very hard. And yesterday was no exception as our tanks are full of sap.It seems to be related to the  phase of the moon as there is always a full moon just before Easter.Or maybe its a coincidence but if so it is very regular occurrence.

There is rain in the forecast for tomorrow but we are open as usual 10 to 5 and the Kettle Boys and Shanty Men will be here unless it rains too hard. We will also be boiling with our large evaporator.

 

 

A Beautiful Easter Morning

A beautiful morning with the promise of lots of sunshine and warmer weather. The red shoulder hawk has returned right on schedule and all the regular winter birds are starting to sing and become much more active. So spring has finally arrived. Our parking lot and the path to the Shanty Men and Kettle Boys have been scraped so there is no problem visiting our operation.We expect the sap will start to run again later this morning as the trees have been recharged after the recent cold weather.

The Colorado Low

The weather forecast was fairly accurate with about 2 inches of snow covered with a sheet of ice. Its warming up quickly so the ice should soften and make walking much less treacherous. Our camp is open and our parking lot has been scraped so the camp is easily accessible. However the trails are slippery and the Kettle Boys and Shanty Men are not operating until tomorrow.

Snowy Morning

We have about 5 cm of fresh wet snow this morning. This is often referred to as sugar snow as the sap usually runs quite well during this type of weather. I think this is due primarily to the lower atmospheric pressure. The sap did run all night and we will be busy making syrup today. The next two days may be rather stormy so if you are coming to the camp this week today would be the best day to come.

Sunny Weekend

Lots of frost last night which we needed to recharge the trees.It is sunny and bright and a nice day for a visit to the sugar bush.
It may be too cold for sap today but the Kettle Boys and Shanty Men have a backlog of sap and will be boiling as usual. We now have our first batch of maple fudge for the season as well as maple tarts and all our maple products.

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.

Rainy weather slows things down

Sunday night brought rain which continued today. No frost in the forecast until late in the week so sap production has tapered off. In spite of the rain several people visited the camp and enjoyed some taffy on the snow and watched while we made fresh syrup. We were also busy packing syrup and getting orders put together for customers.

Another Perfect Day

We usually get a break or two during the syrup season but so far the sap has been running every day. Saturday was another perfect day. The sap ran most of the night and our tanks are full this morning. There was some frost just before daylight so the trees will be recharged and it should be another good sap day.We are open already and have lots of syrup and other products for sale and all our activities are underway.