First, I would like to thank everyone who has purchased maple syrup from us this year, both wholesalers and direct consumers. With your help, we have sold more syrup in 2015 than any year in the past. In-fact, I am hoping we have some early runs this winter as we are burning through our reserves quickly.
As I eluded to above, we have been installing tubing for another new sugar maker this past year. The pictures above are from that job. What was supposed to be a mainline and wire only job lasting a month or 6 weeks, became a bit more than that as the landowner realized just how much work they had to get done. We ended up running all of the 3/16 tubing, and doing much of the plumbing. Luckily we have just a half day left over there.
I say luckily because we have to get our woods ready for tapping and our goal is the first week of January. Fortunately for us between all of the other work, we found time to replace 7000 drop lines this year so those sections of woods are good to go leaving 2/3 of the woods to walk and get ready for tapping. Damage this year has been minimal, mainly due to the fact that we did not get any crazy wind storms this year at all, but as always there is much to do.
The big question I have been asked this year is what the warm weather pattern we have seen is going to do to the sugaring season. My answer is I don't know, but I am optimistic about the season. Traditionally we have done better on warm years and with el nino set up in the Pacific, meteorologists predict that will be the case, and it has already rung very true. (we also have previous el nino year data to that backs up this prediction) I am banking on tapping early and hopefully getting sap in January right on through until the end of the season. My dilemma is whether to tap before we really get some cold weather. I asked Dr. Tim Wilmot this question, and he recommended to wait until it gets cold for risk of contaminating the tap holes. I think that if we get to the first week of January and it is still warm I will go ahead and tap anyway because it takes us a long time to tap with the small crew we run. What I will do different if it is warm is tap with the vacuum on, and tap the sections of woods with new drops first. I guess if we get sap right off then we will deal with it. The key is to keep sap from back flowing into the tap hole, so as I said, vacuum will be on anytime it is near 32 degrees. We will see in a few weeks what happens and I will keep you updated on progress and what decisions we have made.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday's and Happy New Year!