RicelandMeadows


Waiting, Watching and Comparing
March 16, 2015, 8:58 pm
Filed under: March 2015 | Tags: , , , ,
March 2014

March 2014

March 16, 2015

Last year we were well on our way by this time. The syrup was flowing fairly well. The snow was gone. The days were warm and the nights were cold. This year, the season is trying to get rolling, but winter still has a firm grip. We thought we would have pretty full bags by tonight, but Sunday was cold and cloudy. Today, though warm, was rainy. We did get a few drips, but no need to gather until tomorrow.

This morning, I went for a few supplies and to check with my friend Marvin. His sugarbush has 3000 taps. He is having the same conditions as us. They gathered this morning, but could have waited. He boiled for just a little while. I watched while we shared conversation. His operation is just a little different than mine. He shared information and I learned much.

The weather is to turn a little nasty by tomorrow afternoon. They are even talking snow! We will gather then and reap the harvest. The season is slow, but progressing. We farmers are always working with the weather, so this crop is no different than the others. I wonder why we fret so much. It will all work out…it always does. Patience is a virtue… I must keep repeating this to myself 😮



The Sap Is Running
March 11, 2015, 9:27 pm
Filed under: March 2015 | Tags: , , , ,
Clearly it begins...

Clearly it begins…

March 11, 2015

Today was a much better day than yesterday, as far as walking through the woods. The snow was still deep, but softer. I could move my feet without having to lift my knees to my chin 😮  It was still a very tiring, yet satisfying day. We tapped quite a few more. Our total is now 691. We will tap the last 109 down by the river, once we know it won’t flood us out.

The sap is starting to run. The big trees and trees in the shade are still being stingy, as they wait for the sun and thaw out. The weather is looking good for the next few days for us maple syrup guys. The snow is melting slow, which is a very good thing. There is so much of it, that if it all melted at once…some guy might start gathering animals two by two!

Tomorrow will be a big clean up day as we get everything ready to start boiling. The clean up done last spring is just a memory. I have some help coming so the job shouldn’t be too bad. We will boil water just to make sure all is well. I usually do a test boil a couple of weeks before the season, but this year has us right up against the wall. To say the least… I am scrambling!!!

I love this season. It is my passion. I like every thing about it….the only thing sweeter than the maple syrup made in my sugarhouse…are the memories!

 



Starting Up Again
March 28, 2014, 9:13 am
Filed under: March 2014 | Tags: , ,
Just starting to boil

Just starting to boil

March 28, 2014

After a very cold start to the week, the sap is running again. We will gather later and it looks like, quite a few times over the next several days. Some of this work is usually done in February, but not this year 😮 Winter just won’t let go.

The wood pile is holding out well. The longer pieces have worked out very well. They were easy to load, easy to stack and keep the arch fired nicely. I load the fire every ten minutes. This year it amounts to only four or five pieces of wood each time. Last year, with woodstove sized pieces, I had to put in twice as many.

The ten minute firing method keeps me hopping, but it keeps the sap boiling very intensely. We have to make the water evaporate to get to the yummy syrup hidden in the sweet mixture that flows from the maple trees. This longer, dry, split wood works awesome. Many thanks to the horses for pulling load after load through the mud, to fill the woodshed…and they didn’t say “neigh” once.