We are excited to start our 2023 maple blog!
Time sure does fly by. We have been very busy with the farm and our family over the past months. Now with warmer weather upon us, we are quickly preparing for syrup season.
As we reported in May, the Derecho storm crossed our home farm. Many large trees were uprooted or broken and about a third of our pipeline system was damaged. By August, tree growth had slowed so we went to work with our chainsaws and forestry equipment and cleaned up the downed and damaged trees allowing us to safely access the pipelines. Damaged lines have been replaced and our system is set and ready to go for the upcoming season. We lost over 100 of our large maples and we have been able to replace the production from these trees by adding new taps on others that have grown to be of tapping size (10 inches in diameter). This is a benefit of managing a forest so that it contains trees of all ages.
The unusually warm winter weather that we have experienced to date in February has us thinking that maple season may start earlier than normal. New holes must be drilled in each tree every year and we like to do the drilling or ”tapping” just before the weather warms up, in the latter part of February. This year there is little frost in the ground beneath the snow in the woods so the trees will be able to draw water through their roots freely when sap flow weather conditions arrive. We are excited, optimistic, hustling about the woods, and looking forward to a productive season!
The Kettle Boys and the Shanty Men are also anxious to get back into the sugar bush and they will be joining us once the sap starts to flow.
We are celebrating 50 years of maple production at Fortune Farms. Ray and Ruth bought the farm in the summer of 1972 and made their first syrup here in 1973. To celebrate our 50th season, we have developed a commemorative label featuring Ruth’s original artwork from 1973. We hope that you will share this milestone with us by visiting the farm.
We welcome orders through our website or by calling the farm. We will let you know when your order is ready and look forward to sharing our experiences on our blog throughout maple season.