RicelandMeadows


Untapped!
March 9, 2017, 8:03 pm
Filed under: March 2017 | Tags: , , , , ,

untap2017

March 9, 2017

After a very short season, we have the trees untapped. We had to dump full bags of maple sap. The bags were full but the quality was not good. The trees have budded, so the sap has an “off” flavor. I would rather dump it on the ground than make “buddy” syrup. It has a strong offensive taste. I can sell it to a few buyers who use it for pipe tobacco and animal feed, but the price they pay is low. It is so low, that I would be better off selling the firewood it would take to boil the sap. I would get more for the firewood, than I would the maple syrup.

Thanks to the horses and several guys we untapped in a matter of a few hours. It is a great job to have behind us. It has been a funny year. It has been very warm. It was a very early maple season and very short. We did make a good amount, but were hoping to make more than we did. I will get everything cleaned and put away, then wait patiently for next year. It pays to be a Cleveland Browns fan…..there is always next year!

It was a beautiful day to be in the woods. Yesterday, we had high winds that blew at speeds of 50 mph. There are several trees uprooted. The forest floor is littered with down and dead limbs. The whole woodlot could use a good cleaning. I will salvage what I can for lumber and firewood. I will build some nice brush piles for woodland creature habitat and I will burn some of the slash. The old, mostly rotted wood, I will push into piles to finish rotting to enrich the forest. This is one job that I will never complete, but I refuse to stop working at it.



Time to Tap!
March 8, 2015, 4:35 pm
Filed under: March 2015 | Tags: , , , ,
Here we go!

Here we go!

March 8, 2015

Here we go, the 2015 maple syrup season is off and running! Two days ago it was -9 degrees F. Today it is 40 F. I will get started tomorrow. The horses and equipment are ready to go. We will start tapping hoping to finish by the end of the day on Tuesday. There are lots of things to do, but so starts my favorite time of the year!

The snow has been settling, melting from the bottom up. It is still a little deep in the woods, but melting fast. The frozen trees will soon start waking up. I hope to be all ready when they do. The steam will be rising by the end of the week no doubt.

The weather looks like it will beat us up with sap, but hey…that is what it is all about!



Talk About a Tank!

I

reworked sap hauling tank

reworked sap hauling tank

February 12, 2015

What you are looking at, is the result of many drawings, much thought and lots of steel. I wanted to make the tank so it would slide on runners when the woods were soft, yet still roll down the road when needed. I wanted it to be more user friendly, hence the ladder. I wanted it to be safer for my grandchildren, so it has a platform and a safety rail.

A couple of years ago, I made a mess of our trails from using this tank and our tractor to gather sap. We were left with rutted up roads and trails. I am hoping that once the tires start to sink, it will slide on the steel runners. The horses will pull this instead of the sled and tank we normally use…at least I hope it works out that way,  😮

When we used this trailer in the past, we had to jump up on a small step. My jumping up days are pretty much behind me. Even the young guys didn’t like it by the end of the job. I am hoping the ladder and handrail makes this thing much easier to use. It holds 300 gallons of sap, 90 more than the sled and tank.

I will use three horses to pull it I think, not because I need that much horsepower, but because I can’t stand the sound of my third horse whinnying from the barn. It will also get all three horses ready for spring plowing. Work hardened horses ready for spring work, makes me thankful..in fact I will say… “Tanks a lot!”

 Ain't she a beaut?!

Ain’t she a beaut?!