Maple Syrup: Nature's Spring Tonic. -- Since 1918

Category: 2010: Season 93 Page 2 of 4

A Day to Rest

It was cold today along with a wind that make it feel colder.   It barely got above 32.  So nothing happening in the woods today.   But we needed a day to rest.   We have had four days of about 14 hours in the woods. 

Tomorrow we may collect if it warms early enough.  It supposed to get down to 15 tonight so it could take a while for the ice in the buckets to thaw.

Tanks Empty Again

Today was warm again.  Up to 53.   It did just freeze last night, about 30.   The spouts were wet but not dripping much.   It needs to be a little colder.   A cold front is forecast to move in overnight which will drop the temperatures again.  We are hoping to get one or two more collections for the season.

Spent the day boiling down the sap from yesterday.   Into the woods by 7:30 AM.  Cleaned out the front syrup pan before stating the evaporator.    It takes about an hour to do that, but makes the day boiling much easier.  Took a batch off the evaporator about 11:30 AM.   That got added to the batch from yesterday.   About 4:00 PM we started bottling.   Bottled 19 quarts and 1 pint.  Stayed in the woods  boiling then until the storage tanks were empty.    Took another batch off the evaporator about 7:00 PM.  That batch just went into the milk can for finishing and bottling later.   By 8:00 PM the tanks were empty and by 8:20 PM we were back in the house.

2000 Gallons of Sap

We collected 350 gallons again today.  That gives us 2000 gallons for the season.  In theory that works out to 50 gallons of finished syrup.  So it looks like we will salvage the season.  50 gallons would be 83% of our average crop.  But we are not done yet.  The weather pattern is still holding.   Tomorrow will be a little warmer, but then it gets colder into the weekend. 

Today was up to about 47.  It did freeze last night but not as hard as other nights.  We went out collecting at 2:00 PM.  After collecting we started the evaporator.   Took a batch of syrup off the evaporator but did not finish and bottle it.  We will do that tomorrow when we empty the storage tanks by boiling what have.

Empty Tanks

The 350 gallons we collected on Sunday is all boiled through.  Staying last night to boil helped make today easier.  We were in the woods by 7:30 AM and back home by 7:30 PM.

Good weather again.  It was 25 last night and 45 and sunny today.  That’s what we need.   The sap was running, although some taps are dry.  We will collect tomorrow again.   

We did finish and bottle another 26 quarts.  We are up to 144 quarts now.  Slowly we are making progress.  We need 750 gallons more sap.  We have 1650 gallons of sap now.  A few more good runs this week and we may make 2400 gallons and achieve our our average of 240 quarts of finished syrup.

Sap Today

It froze again last night.  Down to the mid 20s.  We like that.  Today was sunny and into the 40s.  We like that too.  The sap was running.  About 2:30 PM we headed out to collect.  Picked up 350 gallons of sap again.  When this sap is finished we will approach 40 gallons of syrup.  Things look much better now then the did last week.  The weather pattern still holds with freezing night and sunny days.  We are hopeful.

We started the day by cleaning the syrup pan on the evaporator.   We are cleaning it much more frequently which lessens  the build up of nitre and makes boiling easier. 

After collecting we started boiling again.   Boiled about 4 ½ hours tonight.  Tomorrow we will start early again and stay until the tanks are empty.

Finally its Colder

It was still 28 at 9:00 AM.   Hasn’t been that cold for about two weeks.  At noon we checked the buckets. It warmed to about 35 by then.  Even though there was a cold North wind, the trees were dripping.  Not a lot yet.  Still its an encouraging sign.   We will collect tomorrow.  We expect the next week to make or break the season.  The weather forecast sill looks good for sap runs.  

Today is the first day of Spring.

We did bring the bottled syrup from the woods to the house today.

Part 2?

Cloudy.  About 45 today yet.  Nothing happening in the woods.   Tonight the weather should change.  We might even get some snow flakes.  If there is going to be a part 2 to the season, it will happen this coming week with the weather change.   We just hope the taps have not dried out too much.

Its Not Supposed to be 65 Degrees

Its March 18th.  Its not supposed to be 65 degrees.  Its way too warm.  There are a few small snow piles that are desperately clinging on in the face of the warm weather but for the most part the snow is gone.   We are waiting for Friday when the weather is forecast to change back to normal, which is about 20 degrees cooler.    And hoping the trees will respond.

Today was spent cooking down the sap from yesterday.  Started at 5:00 AM.  The tanks are empty now.  We bottled 23 quarts and 1 pint.  Our total for the season is now 116 quarts which is  29 gallons of finished syrup.

Cooking Again

We collected 350 gallons of sap today.  That gives us 1300 gallons so far for the season.  We had two nights of freezing.  Last night was down to 26.  That helps.  Although it still was too warm today.  Up to about 57 or 58. 

We started the day by cleaning all the pans in the evaporator.  Getting ready for part two of the season, if there will be a part two.  The forecast still calls for change back to colder, normal, temperatures on Friday.  We are hoping that will return us to better sap run days.

Then about 1:00 PM set out collecting.  Brought in one tank full of 200 gallons then went back out to finish collecting.  Ended up with another 150 gallons for 350 gallons total today.   Started the evaporator: cooking again.  

About 8:30 PM a batch was ready to come off the evaporator.  This batch was from the syrup we had in the evaporator.  It was not from today’s collection.  We had help yet at night and they wanted to finish and bottle tonight.  So we did.  By 10:30 PM we had another 21 quarts bottled.

Tough Season All Over

We are getting reports from contacts in CT, MA and NY also saying the weather is too warm and the season is not good.   This  season could be a washout across the US maple belt.   We will hang in there for week or 10 days yet.   The weather forecast still has a return to normal conditions for this weekend.  The danger is that the taps dry out.

We did start the evaporator today.   Want to get the sap in it completely boiled down and processed.  It was just a few hours of light firing.  Tomorrow we should be able to finish it.  

We did get a light frost last night, but we will need a few days of sustained freezes to get sap moving.

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