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!

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.