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!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Working Away

The season has been pretty consistent since it began on March 28th; we have collected small runs of sap every day since then, and our stock of maple syrup is slowly growing.  With the late start to an already short window of opportunity, we are hoping that the season will hang on just a little longer.  The forecast does look like it has some cool overnight temperatures for this coming week, so hopefully we are not finished yet.  With it now being mid-April, significantly warmer temperatures and the end of our frosty nights are surely close at hand.



In addition to collecting and boiling sap every day, we have been hard at work bottling up all of the fresh syrup.  The Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival is on Saturday, April 26th this year, and we always anticipate a big crowd!  We continue to be open at the farm from 1pm - 5pm daily, and will be open through the entire Easter weekend.  Come by and stock up on spring sweetness!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Opening Day!



We are happy to say that our sugarhouse shelf is finally stocked with delicious, fresh 2014 maple syrup!  Our opening day is tomorrow, Saturday April 5th, and we will be open from 1pm - 5pm daily.  Hope to see many of you soon!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Winter That Won't Quit

The calendar says that it's spring and the sap should be running, but Mother Nature says otherwise.  We received 20 centimetres of fresh snow last night to add to the metre already on the ground.  And with temperatures forecast to plunge to -16 tonight and remain firmly below freezing all week, it looks like the maple sugaring season is to be delayed yet again.

This year may be shaping up to be a record breaker, in one way or another -- in 1997, we boiled the first sap of the season on March 25th and the season carried on until April 21st, the latest start and finish in our 42 year career.  This week we had several very brief sap runs but as of today, March 22nd, we are yet to have collected enough sap to boil.

In the meantime, we are doing our best to have everything ready for the run that must come eventually.  Stay tuned!
Still buried

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Good Old Fashioned Winter!

A long winter means a late start to the maple syrup season.  The sustained cold and lack of thaws means that our maple trees are frozen solid.  It will take a number of warm sunny days to melt the snow away from the tree trunks and allow the sap to begin to flow.  The weather forecast suggests that maple sugaring will begin towards the last third of March this year - more like it did when Ken started making syrup 42 years ago.  In recent years, we've become used to warmer winters and sap flows starting late February.  Our snowshoes had started to gather dust hanging on the wall, but not this year.  It's been far too cold to begin tapping yet but as soon as the temperature starts climbing close to the freezing point, we will strap on the snowshoes and head to the sugarbush!

Our sugarhouse will remain closed while we're tapping.  We will open as soon as we have fresh syrup available.  Please continue to check back in for updates as things hopefully get underway soon.

snowed in

Monday, December 23, 2013

Maple Syrup Sold Out for 2013

Thanks to all of our wonderful customers, we are now completely sold out of Maple Syrup again for the year.  We would like to thank you all for your patronage, and we look forward to springtime when we can share the excitement of the Maple Syrup Season with you again!

Happy Holidays from the McCutcheon's.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Winter Is Hanging On!

The cold weather has been lingering, and as a result the syrup season has stretched out a little longer than we thought it might.  Dad was up last night doing a(nother) midnight boiling session, and he said it was snowing like crazy!  There was an inch of snow on the ground at the farm this morning:




What a difference a year makes.  Last year we had July weather in mid-March and the syrup season lasted 10 days.  This year, we have had five weeks of sugaring and it's colder today at the end of the season than it was back in early March when we started. Dad says in 41 years of making maple syrup he's never had two seasons the same!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Nearing The End

Despite the strange April weather, the sap is still running! The weather has been cooler this week than predicted, complete with a "winter storm watch"! The sap is running today, and we hope to collect some tomorrow as well. We will be open this weekend from 1pm - 5pm daily. We do anticipate that this will be the final weekend, so now is your chance if you would like to visit while we are still in production. For visiting hours after this weekend, please call (705) 835-5780 to arrange at time.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Good Season So Far




The weather has been co-operating this week, and we have been collecting and boiling sap every day! 


It has been nice to see lots of happy faces at the farm, as many visitors have been out to learn about the syrup-making process and stock up on our delicious "liquid gold".










Full tank of sap - Still cold enough when this
               was taken to have some ice

                                                                  Lots of Steam!








The weather forecast continues to look promising, and we are hoping for at least one more week of freezing temperatures over night. If you are interested in seeing more photos and updates from the season, please check out our Facebook Page!

Monday, March 25, 2013

"A Perfect Day" - Words from a Syrup Maker


Like surfers waiting for the perfect wave or gamblers looking for the perfect hand of cards, maple syrup farmers wait and dream about the perfect sap day.  A day when all the forces of nature combine to produce that elusive flood of maple sap.
The ideal day begins the night before with clear skies and calm winds.  The stars twinkle as the temperature slowly drops to -5C.  The snow is frozen hard by morning but the rising sun soon starts it to melt.  By 11AM, the maple trees have thawed and sap starts to drip from the spiles. By 1PM, sap is running hard,  as much as one litre per tree per hour.  The sky is brilliant blue dotted with a few puffy clouds.  A gentle west breeze shakes the tree branches.  Temperature hovers around +5C.  Sap runs hard until evening when the sun drops below the horizon, the breeze stops and the temperature again drops below freezing. 

That’s the textbook recipe for maple syrup making nirvana.  But seldom do things unfold according to the book.  Last year (2012) didn’t have a single day even close.  This season has been better but we’re still waiting for that "perfect day".  Maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t and it’s that uncertainty that makes syrup making so much fun and so addictive.

                                                                                                                   - Ken McCutcheon