We should have started earlier. If we had tapped by February 14 we would have had more sap. Likely even an average to above average season. The week of February 14 had the freeze/thaw cycles we need: 20s at night and 40s during the day. In future years we will be ready to move earlier if we have warm winters. The trend may be warmer winters too with climate change.
Still we were fortunate. With 51 gallons we had 85% of an average crop. Other producers did much worse with 25% to 30% of a crop. We are thankful for the crop we got.
The big disappointment was the R/O. We don’t regret getting it. It was how the order was handled by the vendor. We understand its a piece of industrial equipment. We are not gong to walk into our local Ag supply store and walk out with an R/O. But we did order it October 6, 2011 and the vendor said it should arrive without problem for the season.
During the off season we have a number of projects to complete. Build an addition to the syrup building for the R/O. Its needs 240 volt power and insulation so it does not freeze. We need a new smoke stack on the evaporator. We just got by with the current smoke stack as its rusted and burnt through in a number of places. We are still surprised we had no smoke in the building. We will put in a new gate to the woods. And we need to start a tree transplant program to get young maples in the areas around the syrup building. The area has mowed for the past 15 or more years. There is no young growth only mature trees that are fast coming to their end of life.
In October we will attend the North American Maple Syrup Council annual meeting in Connecticut. We plan to be back here in February or March of 2013 for season 96.
Song of the Season: Broken Hearted, Karmin