Maple Update

maple1I suppose anyone involved in a business that is dependent on the weather will start out a story with something like, “it has been a strange (winter, spring, summer, or fall.) So just to put myself on the record, it has been a strange spring. What we need to get the trees in the mood to pump their sugary sap from roots to twigs is below freezing nights and above freezing days. My best runs usually come when the snow is gone, after a cold night, and when the sunny daytime temps are in the 50s. The sap almost pours out of the taps and into the buckets, and I am out in the evaporator house all day boiling.

maple3This winter/spring we’ve had a lot of snow. There was several feet over the woodpile, and when I walked out in the beginning of the season, the 3 long piles of evaporator wood were firm and tall under the weight of the snow. As the season commenced, the weight got to be too much for the woodpile, and one day I came out to find 2 of the three piles in rubble. (Franco is suspiciously chewing a stick in the picture, but I don’t think he caused the collapse by removing that stick from the pile. I am keeping my eye on him though.)

maple2Like last year, I’ve done all my gathering so far on snowshoes. After a strenuous turn around the circuit, I sometimes have a bit of a sit-down rest on the threshold of the evaporator shack door. Franco sometimes joins me.

On yesterday’s trip out to the woods, I found so little sap in the buckets that I didn’t even bother gathering. Today I went out again. My total sap gather for 2 days of 70 trees was about 3 gallons. I did start up the evaporator with a small fire in order to use up the little bit of sap I had. I don’t like it sitting around if I can help it. The weather man is calling for below freezing days for the next couple of days, meaning the trees will probably rest. I would not be surprised if the next warming spell we have causes the trees to bud, ending the sapping season. Yes my friends, it has been a strange spring.

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