Yep, it’s that time again! Our crew is starting to tap trees this week. We spent the summer and fall preparing the woods for the season, fixing and removing debris from the lines and setting up some areas to flow more efficiently so we can maximize our sap yield.
The weather has been very cold for the last couple of weeks so we are starting to tap about a week later than we were last year. If we tap trees when it is bitter cold (it was -22F at our house this past weekend), the wood is so brittle that the drill can split the tree. We want to have our trees tapped by the middle of February in case Mother Nature decides to warm up and give us an early season sap run! So we will be busy for the next month or so! Above are a few pictures of our crew out in the woods tapping trees (as you can see we have an interested spectator too)
We have been busy at the sugarhouse as well. We are adding a filter press room on to our sugarhouse. See the picture of the filter press:
It is a large piece of equipment, and it is used to filter the impurities (called niter) out of the syrup so that it is translucent and golden, just as you know it! It takes up a lot of valuable real estate next to the evaporator which is where we fill drums. Cleaning the plate press is the messiest job in the sugarhouse so the new room will be set up so that we can more easily spray the plates clean at the end of a syrup run.
Of course, when we were ready to start construction of our filter press room, the weather turned very cold (just before Christmas), so it was a challenge to get the cement slab poured! But the walls are going up now and it will be fully enclosed soon! We are excited to have this improvement added to our operation! Stay tuned for more pictures of our addition!