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!

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