Sunny and warm today. Temperature up to 85. We’re in a 3-4 day warm spell. Average for April 12 is 50. We’re memorializing it to draw attention to climate change. Unexpected and large changes in temperature, both up and down, are signs of climate change. By the weekend it turns cooler with possible snow flurries.
Into the woods by 8:00 AM to finish cleanup. Washed the floor. Got all the tanks in the building. Brought equipment back to the farmhouse. Done in the woods by 1:30 PM. Then put away equipment at the farmhouse and washed milk cans and pails. Finished by 2:45 PM.
Cleanup stretches over almost two weeks because we can’t focus the entire day on it because of our other work. Cleanup can be completed in 3-4 days if we dedicate the days to it. Next year we should be able to dedicate the days to it.
We’ll write a reflection piece on the season in a few days.
Into the woods by 8:00 AM to clean the evaporator. It cleaned up without much effort. Pans done by 1:00 PM. After lunch cleared the firebox, then the finishing and bottling pan.
Tomorrow clean the floor, bring tanks into the building, clean the milk cans and bring all equipment back to the farmhouse.
A coating to 1” of snow was forecast for overnight, but we didn’t get any snow or rain. 40 overnight. Cloudy and cold this morning. Sun appeared around 1:00 PM. Temperature up to low 50s.
Back to the farmhouse by 3:00 PM.
Into the woods at 12:30 PM to bring in the R/O. Later in the afternoon we prepared the membrane for off-season by adding SMBS to the storage canister. We’ll send the membrane out for cleaning again.
Measured the empty space in the woodshed. We burned 6.9 cords of wood. That’s the consequence of the failed R/O feed pump.
Tomorrow we clean the evaporator.
Into the woods at 4:00 PM. Washed storage tanks. Brought R/O lines to the farmhouse. Washed with bleach solution to sanitize for off-season storage. Also took down the pressure gauge on the tree.
32 overnight, but cold wind at dawn caused ice on puddles. Sunny, windy and 50 today.
On the left, first syrup of the season. On the right last syrup of the season. As the picture shows, we had outstanding quality all season. Too many seasons the “Last Syrup” is how the season starts or very soon after the season starts. No dark syrup this season.
Into the woods by 5:00 AM to finish and bottle the last half milk can of syrup. Just over 4 gallons. Season total: 56 gallons, 3 quarts. Rounding up to 57 gallons. Kept track of the total during bottling because if we bottled 3.5 gallons, we would achieve 2 pints/tap (1 quart/tap.) That’s the highest yield we’ve ever had.
Finished bottling and cleanup and back to the farmhouse by 7:45 AM.
Mid 40s overnight. Rained. By 7:15 AM we had another downpour. Rain subsided by 7:30 AM. Cloudy most of the day but sun appeared after 4:00 PM.
Back into the woods by 4:00 PM to disconnect the R/O. All lines disconnected. The R/O is draining now. Plan to bring it back the farmhouse on Friday.
Back to the farmhouse by 5:00 PM.
Into the woods by 5:00 AM. Half milk can into the finishing pan. Returned wood to the wood shed while waiting for the syrup to finish. Filtering by 6:00 AM. 4 gallons and 6 pints. Completed clean up. Back to the farmhouse by 7:45 AM.
Repeat this tomorrow with the final half milk can of syrup and get the season’s total syrup crop.
Into the woods at 3:45 PM to collect buckets and covers. It was a nice day. Sunny and up to 58. Clouds moved in by 4:00 PM, but still nice. Got all the buckets and covers in while there were dry. Too many years we’ve had rain and the buckets took too long to dry.
Back to the farmhouse by 4:45 PM.
25 overnight. Cloudy. 42 today.
Dumped a milk can into finishing pan at 7:30 AM. Then into the woods at 11:45 AM to finish and bottle another milk can of syrup. A little darker, but still Grade A, Amber color, Rich taste. Very nice syrup.
Two more half milk cans of syrup to finish and bottle. We’ll bottle them early in the morning this coming week.
Back to the farmhouse by 3:00 PM.
Into the woods by 7:30 AM to finish another milk can of syrup. Bottled a pint less then 8 gallons.
After bottling, started the evaporator to finish the last of the sap. It’s a big batch: around 5 gallons. Projecting 55-57 gallons when all the syrup is bottled.
37 overnight. Cloudy most of the day. Temperature dropped during the day. Snow flurries and wind by 10:30 AM. But no accumulation. The forecast wasn’t accurate. But it was blustery and cold. Temperature forecast for the teens tonight.
Bottle tomorrow again. Back to the farmhouse by 2:45 PM.