Tapping Underway

With over a foot or 30 cm of snow, snowshoes are needed to move about the sugar bush this year. Snow in some parts of New Brunswick is over ten feet or 300 cm and we are glad we don’t have to contend with those conditions. It’s a reminder of the winter of 1971-72 when we had snow up to the eaves. We were able to tap the trees that year but almost needed a ladder to remove the spiles after the snow melted.

The next full moon is March 18 and this will be the “sugar” moon. Over the years we have noticed that sap flow does seem to some degree to follow the moon cycles. The Farmer’s Almanac forecasts fair weather and moderating temperatures the first week of March. So we expect to be making syrup by the first or second week of March.

Over the years we have found it’s best to be ready to start by the first of March. These traditional forecasting methods are right about 50% of the time. They have to be right, sometimes, to keep the folklore alive.

With the easing of Covid restrictions in Ontario our camp and trails will be open to the public. Capacity restrictions will apply indoors and social distancing outdoors. We are looking forward to once again welcoming visitors.

Joel Fortune and dog Maple out helping to tap maple trees at Fortune Farms sugarbush
Joel Fortune and Maple helping tap the trees

Tapping is complete!

We are finished tapping and are waiting for the first run of sap.The temperature later this week looks very favourable so we should make the first syrup of the 2021 season.

Startup is always very busy as there will be leaks to fix well as the pumps, the reverse osmosis machine and of course the evaporator to start. It will all be worth it with the first taste of fresh syrup.

On March 6 we held a family tapping event in our maple plantation with the Fortune Family bubble of people. Included were Ruth and Ray Fortune, Sherry and Jamie Fortune and Blair Walker with great grandchildren Alice and Angus. Angus, aged three, tapped in the spile for the first time.

We also held this event in remembrance of Don Dodds who passed away recently. Don was an excellent syrup maker and a maple equipment vendor and was a big help to maple producers, especially to those people just starting out.

The Fortune Family holding a small family tapping event.
The Fortune Family tapping event (Photo: Jim Robertson)

Our camp is now open daily 10am to 4pm.

Our new shopping cart is available and you can prebook your order.

  • The number of people in the camp at one time will be limited.
  • Face masks will be mandatory and we expect visitors to follow social distancing around the camp and on the trails.
  • The trails are open but snowy and are packed down with the snowmobile.

The Kettle Boys and Shanty Men will not be open this year. We very much regret the restrictions placed upon us by Covid-19. However,  if the rules are followed, your visit to the sugar bush should be safe and enjoyable. We look forward to seeing you, at a safe distance.