February Warm Up
February 2, 2019, 4:25 pm
Filed under: February 2019 | Tags: , , ,


February 2, 2019

The groundhog didn’t see his shadow, so he predicts an early spring. It is warming up after some very cold days. One of the days last week our high was -4 degrees F. Today, here at the farm the sun is shining bright and the temperature is on the rise. Soon we will be tapping maple trees for syrup. Days like this make me very anxious.

Our woodshed is full and we are ready for the season to start. Experience has taught me that starting too early, using the old time methods we use, makes for a big headache. Our buckets and bags freeze quickly when the trees just drip a little. The containers are soon a frozen block of ice…then a big sap run comes along and we lose all that sap. Patience is our best friend. The guys with tubing can get away with starting a little early, but I’m sure that ice can be a big problem for them too.

Another thing that happens when you tap early, is that the tap holes dry out. You see the tap hole is a small wound in the tree. The tree sends sap to heal itself. The spile keeps the hole open, but mother nature is a wonderful thing and will heal the tree in spite of the spile. The hole dries out, no sap runs. So, as you race against time and weather, you battle mother nature too.

I will continue to prepare and try to relax. Once the time is right, we will pounce. It is a big job, but to me, worth the sweet rewards. The aroma of boiling maple sap will soon fill the air. The golden maple syrup will fill our jugs and the memories from days gone by will fill my mind and heart.

7 Comments so far
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Watched your show on maple syrup. Tried it this year for the first time and I’m hooked! Building an arch from an old fuel oil tank for next year. I live in southeast Ohio along the river. I’d love to find a source for the bags you use for gathering sap. I’ve had no luck in my internet search. Thank you in advance, George Daniels.

Comment by George Daniels

Thank you George. I get my bags from a local Amish man. He doesn’t have a phone or website. You can send him a letter and get all your questions answered as well as order the amount of bags you’d like to try. He could ship them to you or arrange pick up in Mount Hope or Dover between now and next year. His contact information is; Owen R Miller, 15667 Tavern Road, Burton Ohio, 44021

Comment by ricelandmeadows

Thank you for the information. I have been bitten by the bug. We’ll never eat store bought syrup again. My wife and I used buckets and spiles with tubing this year. Only had 8 trees tapped with 18 taps total. She wanted to gather so bad, but couldn’t get the lids off. Saw the bags and her eyes lit up. Can’t wait till next season. I’ll contact Mr Miller. Burton is no terribly far from Fly, Ohio where we live. We have family in the Dover area.
I thought the program stated to were in Vermont?? I couldn’t remember. Thanks again, George.

Comment by George Daniels

George, we are located in northeast Ohio, Ashtabula county

Comment by ricelandmeadows

Upon further research I discovered that. Searched Riceland Meadows Farm. It seems you have a wonderful thing there. Hope to someday pay a visit if you all are open to it. Would love to talk about syrup with an expert. We’re located about 3-1/2 hours south of you in Monroe county on the Ohio river.

Comment by George Daniels

George, I will welcome a visit, but we need to set up a time. Right now we are swimming in sap! To keep you satisfied until we can meet in person, you can do a search on YouTube for Riceland Meadows. There are several videos made by Rural Heritage magazine for RFD-TV. You can check us out, get a list of questions and we can go over them during your visit. There is a good one on there of us making maple syrup too.

Comment by ricelandmeadows

Thank you and I understand the dilemma with the sap! I’ll contact you in a the spring or early summer when we have a trip up that way. Then if it agrees with your schedule we can stop by.

Comment by George Daniels

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