Friday, April 17, 2015

Busy Bees

Can you spot the honeybee?? What a difference a week makes - last weekend we were still making syrup, and today the honeybees were busy on a lawn full of flowers with not a speck of snow in sight. We are no longer keeping regular hours at the farm as we are busy as bees ourselves. Please call (705) 835-5780 to confirm hours -- there is a daily recorded message that will let you know what we're up to and when and where you can find us!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Warmer Days & Nights Signal Season's End


The forecast shows that our frosty nights have come to an end, and warmer days are upon us!  This spells the end of the sugar season, but the sap has been running well over the past few weeks so we're not too sad to see the end - it has been a good season overall.  This weekend will be our last for regular hours at the farm.  We will be open 1pm - 5pm on Saturday and Sunday with lots of delicious 2015 syrup for sale.  Following this, please call (705) 835-5780 to check our hours as we will be busy in the woods tackling the clean-up and take-down process. Thanks to all who came out to visit this spring, and hope to see a few more smiling faces this weekend - Sunday is going to be spectacular!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter Weekend


Finally starting to see some real signs of spring around the farm! We will be open every day this Easter weekend, from 1pm - 5pm. Come join us for a self-guided walk though the sugarbush, and enjoy a special sugar-on-snow treat before the April showers wash the last of our snow away. Please remember that payment is by cash or cheque only. Wishing a happy Easter weekend to you all, hope to see some of you soon!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring Fluctuations

We had two excellent sap days on Friday and Saturday and have been boiling sap to produce some very delicious, early run syrup. Many visitors out to the farm reported a "buttery flavour" upon taste-testing. Last night the temperatures dropped all the way to -18, so things are frozen up for a day or two.  The sap flow will resume when the temperature rises back up above the freezing mark again; currently the forecast says by Tuesday or Wednesday.  We will be open with syrup for sale from 1pm - 5pm but the sap will not be running today.  Make sure to bundle up warmly if you are stopping by! Also, please be aware that payment is by cash or cheque only.

Dad emptying a small sap tank we affectionately refer to as "The Sputnik" 
                       due to it's spaceship-like appearance.

                                               A happy sight - The sugarhouse full of sunshine and steam. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Open Tomorrow!

The sugarhouse shelf is fully stocked with fresh 2015 syrup, and we will be open tomorrow from 1pm - 5pm! Tomorrow sounds like a warm and sappy day - perfect for a self-guided sugarbush tour on our new walking trail (winter boots are recommended, as there is still snow in the woods). We also have delicious, freshly made maple sugar and maple butter for sale, and it is likely we will be collecting and boiling sap throughout the afternoon. Hope to see your smiling and sticky faces soon!

Have you been waiting patiently to re-stock your fridge with 
liquid gold? The first syrup of 2015 is now bottled and ready!

                                             Come enjoy the fresh spring air, and take a walk on our 
                                                                 self-guided sugarbush tour.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Opening Friday March 20th

The sap is running! The photo below shows our holding tank about to overflow; luckily Dad was able to pump some to a separate overflow tank just in time to avert disaster! We have had our first boil and everything went smoothly. We will work on finishing and bottling the first run syrup this week and will have some ready for you on Friday, March 20th - our opening day! We will be open from 1pm - 5pm, and will keep the same hours daily for the remainder of the season. Look forward to seeing you soon!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Getting Close!

This week was great weather for tapping, and we were able to get all 6500 spiles hammered in with six days of steady work. The temperatures have been mild enough for the sap to start running which is necessary for the next step in the process - checking for leaks! The video below shows a leak in a sap line, most likely due to a squirrel bite. This one was quite obvious, and you could easily see and hear it. Some require much trickier detective work!

video


There is still lots of work to do to get everything running smoothly,  and the equipment in the sugarhouse ready for boiling. We are hoping to have some fresh syrup made and bottled by the end of next week, weather permitting. Please check back in a few days for confirmation of our opening day!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Spring Has Sprung! Tapping Begins for 2015.

We had our first tapping day of the season on Saturday March 7th - coincidently, the same date that we started last year!  After a very cold February, things have finally warmed up enough for us to get to work.  In very frigid temperatures, tapping (the process of drilling new holes and hammering in spiles) is physically hard on the trees and also results in frustration and extra work as the tubing and fittings become brittle and break.  That being said, it is always a race to get the trees all tapped before the temperatures rise enough for the sap to actually run, as we do not want to miss collecting a single drop!  This weekend was ideal tapping weather as the temperatures were just slightly below zero, and with all hands on deck we were able to get off to a good start!

Many hands make light work. Rene, Ken, Jesse, & Colette. Snow is deep!

Tough going!  The snow is very deep and a sugary 
texture that the snowshoes sink right through.

All-terrain vehicles required.

                                                                        Spring sweetness -- a "tree hug"

                                 Like a bud waiting to blossom, we saw some hints of sap in the 
                                sunny spots, just letting us know that it is ready and waiting too.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Clean Up Time!

It's clean-up time at McCutcheon's! We are in the process of washing and taking down our lines, and cleaning up our equipment for next year. Now that the snow has melted, we are finding many spiles are now too high to reach! Jesse even had to build some special reaching tools for us so we can pull them out!
would have to be tall to reach this one!
We are no longer keeping regular hours at the farm, so if you would like to arrange a visit, please call (705) 835-5780. You can also find Ken & Rene at the Orillia Farmers' Market now, at the new library location on Saturday mornings.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Last Sap Of The Year

Sunday April 20th was our final sap day of 2014.  It was -4 overnight on Sunday, and this afternoon it  got up to +24! The grass is turning green, the spring peepers are singing, and the syrup season that took so long to get here is finally over.

                                                                        final boil

With the extremely late start to the sap run, we were fearing for the worst.  However, once the flow began, we did get three solid weeks of good sap weather and came out in the end with about an average crop - not bad considering.

We will no longer be keeping regular hours at the farm, so please call ahead to arrange a visit ~ (705) 835-5780.  You will find us this weekend at the annual Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival.  Fingers crossed for a beautiful day!