Season’s over!!

Well the trees budded out this week and we had perfect sap weather.  Oh well.   The warm first two weeks negated a spectacular finish to our syrup season, and we still had a great season.   We pulled buckets today and collected 450 gallons from 1500 buckets, with 500 more to pull tomorrow.  Our syrup count is at about 600 gallons.  Tomorrow we will do the final cook.

For those who may not know, one might ask, “How do I get the last of the concentrated sap out of my evaporator with no sap in the feed tank?”  Well the answer is an easy one.  If you have a source of fresh water, fill your feed tank with plain water and start the evaporator .  The tap water will “chase” the concentrated sap all the way through the evaporator.  Now you may think that it would dilute the sap, but it does not.   We generally get most of it out.   When it is all out, I add the Roth Pan Cleaner and let it sit overnight and the next morning I drain and rinse the pans and they look like new.

Be thinking about your equipment needs for next year, this is the time that CDL will soon be announcing their big sale.   Last year it was 23% off list price on everything that CDL made.   I will keep a sharp eye out and post on my blog and website when this happens.

I hope you had a safe and excellent season.  We now can all rest a bit.


Approaching the end of the Season

The sap run this past weekend was lackluster at best.  Warmer temps and one freezing night did yield a small run and our syrup total for the year now stands at 520 gallons.  An average year.  I am still holding out for a nice run this upcoming weekend when the temps dip into the teens.  This cold will really freeze the trees, as it were, and when it warms up we should get one final run.   I will pull the taps after this weekend’s run  so all of you with the buckets and bags,  hang in there.  Syrup is getting darker now as well, and sugar content is dropping, however ours is still in the 2.8 to 3.0 range, which is very good considering this is the end of March.

Also as we approach the end of the season, this is the time to begin thinking about your equipment needs and wants for next year.  Evaporators tend to get traded in as the equipment manufacturers have their annual sale.  They like to have pre-paid orders for delivery in September/October in order to keep their employees working during the summer.  The equipment sale is usually  in mid April to late May.  Last year’s sale was 23% off list price.  This was when I saved over $3,000 on our RO.

Looking forward to the last weekend of sap and the cleanup that follows.    The daffodils will be showing their color soon!!


Sap Doldrums

It  seems as though the trees do not know whether to give up the sap or keep it.  Of course this applies to only the bucket and bag brigade like me.  Producers using vacuum will get sap on days we get zero.  Today our buckets were 1/4 to 1/2 full after a hard freeze last night and some were not dripping at all.  The old growth maples at our Center City, MN location were running like gangbusters.  We have some warm weather coming the middle of next week which could pop some of the buds and then its game over.   If we  can get through this next warm spell we have another week of excellent temperatures for sap movement, lows in the twenties and even teens  and highs in the thirties and forties.  We are at about 75% of a normal syrup production year, so one or two more sap runs would be nice.  Its all out of our control.

Have a safe Easter Weekend,