Crystal brilliance at SMF
Crystal brilliance at SMF

2010 SUGAR MOON SAP BLOG


January 28 2010

The sugar season is fast upon us! Scott is busy preparing for another sugar season. He has been up to the woods a couple times doing repairs and checking out the condition of the sugar woods after another winter. He will continue to work away at this until the end of February when he will start tapping in.

 

Quita is busy organizing group bookings and lining up staff for the months of March, April and May... everyone at Sugar Moon Farm invites you to come join us for the 2010 sugar season! 

 

Tuesday February 8 2010

Conditions were very cold last week so it was difficult to work effectively in the sugar woods (minus 25 and colder with wind chill). However, Scott was still up there assessing damage and beginning repairs. Looks like we won't need as many repairs as he'd expected.

 

Tuesday February 23 2010

We are busy on the farm gearing up for the sugar season. This week Scott will be up in the woods finishing repairs and starting to tap the trees. Once that is complete it is up to Mother Nature to deliver warm days and cold nights to get the sap flowing so we can make maple syrup!

 

Tuesday March 2

Spring is here! The sap ran on the weekend and we collected enough for Scott to boil the first sap on Monday, priming the evaporator and making a tiny bit of absolutely delicious maple syrup for the house. Today Scott finished tapping in....so we are ready for the season. Great timing. Right on time. 

 

The sugar woods is coated in a fine layer of ice right now, quite beautiful. It sounds like the temperatures will remain cold all week, with snow on Thursday, and then we should see a spike early next week, or perhaps on the weekend. That's when the sap should run again. 

 

We are offering tours and sugar on snow all day on the weekend. Welcome!

 

Tuesday March 9

We did our second boil of the season yesterday - not a lot of sap just yet - it only really ran a little over the sunny weekend as temperatures didn't get much above plus 1 here. We are hopeful that things will warm up this week a little more.

 

Still lots of snow on the ground...although the ice has now fallen off the trees around here.

 

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7 pm Thursday March 11

Scott is boiling as I write. He had about 1/2 a tank or 400 gallons of sap. Tonight is supposed to be pretty cold - I think minus 10. And Scott says that the forecast for the next few days through Sunday sounds ideal: cold nights, nice warm sunny days. 

 

We are so thrilled and grateful. It's been a few years since we had an early start to the season. And from the sounds of it, other producers in Cumberland County and in New Brunswick have had a great start, too.

 

8:15 pm Friday March 12

We had a little sap today but not as much as we'd hoped. Despite the brilliant sunshine, it really never got warmer than around plus 2 here. We'll collect tomorrow and boil on Sunday.

 

12:30 pm Monday March 15

Today is another sunny warm day following a cold night. We boiled as planned yesterday, Sunday, but it still wasn't really a big run for us. We have collected a bit from yesterday and will wait to see what the sun brings us today. We suspect that we'll simply collect again today and boil tomorrow...but don't know!

 

11:25 pm Monday March 15

Scott just got in from boiling today/tonight. Mark was a great help (Mark MacDonald, newly graduated Forest Technologist from "Ranger School" in Fredericton where Scott and I met). It wasn't a big run but he made delectable syrup! Now we're getting ready for a busy March Break. Tomorrow morning we'll have 70 new Canadians from the YMCA in Halifax. Fun! Then it's 1 pm for the public.

 

We're assuming that the sap will run again tomorrow, but when and how much? We'll see. 

 

9:24 am Wednesday March 17

We had a great run yesterday and Scott made lots of delicious syrup. It didn't really start til mid day so he had another late afternoon boil and late night bottling. Today it looks like it might do the same thing...and the temperatures aren't supposed to dip below freezing overnight so it may continue running into the night.

 

10:09 pm Friday March 19

No sap...too warm...and this weekend isn't much better. We really need a new weather system to come in and bring cold temperatures, perhaps a nice big snowfall. Maybe next week!

 

7:30 am Thursday March 25

Well...still no sap. Interesting season. We still need a change in weather and it has remained cool and rainy for several days. We have talked to folks in Cumberland County who have had the best season ever. They were tapped in before the very early run at the end of February and apparently made a lot of syrup then. The rest of us in NS seem to be hoping for more...or we'll have had a very low yield. 

 

Ever hopeful...

 

2:00 pm Friday March 26

We have enough sap for a boil! Actually a tank and a half - about 1200 litres - that will mean a long boil tomorrow, Saturday. It ran better than we expected yesterday afternoon and night. Right now it's snowing and tonight will be very cold. 

 

Tomorrow is the Earltown Maple Festival from 10 to 6 pm. Sugar Moon donates the syrup for this community fundraiser. It's a great slice of rural Nova Scotia life: pancake supper, sweets, local live music. We are always happy when we are able to boil on an Earltown Supper day. Lots of folks go to both places. Tomorrow, Bob Williams, the original owner of the farm will be firing the evaporator with Scott. Just like old times!

 

9:50 pm Saturday March 27

Today was very COLD! Scott and Bob boiled all day and made lots of syrup. It was tricky boiling with all the cold and ice - but all went well. Lots of people visiting...and the Earltown Community Supper was really successful - probably around 700 guests. Good day all around. Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer - plus 2 - but that's not warm enough for us to get sap. We likely won't get any til Monday from the sounds of it.

 

10:40 pm Good Friday April 2

Sunday morning, April 11, 2010

 

Quita here: sincere apologies for not having kept up this journal. 

 

Sunday March 28 I flew to St Paul AB to be with my beloved sister, Vicki, who passed away in palliative care a few days later. She was 14 mos older than me and we were very close. Vicki was a music teacher in St Paul. My parents and siblings are all gathering there April 17 for her memorial. I feel very sad, but ultimately so grateful that I spent her last few days with her and that the end was very peaceful. 

 

Everything else plugged along here on the farm without me...except this journal. When I returned I wrote a similar entry to this one...but somehow didn’t upload it on the site. Thanks for the emails reminding me that the journal remained unfinished.

 

So...the season ended very early this year. The final boil was March 31. Alas, there was nothing to be done! You just can’t control the weather and it certainly warmed up quickly leading up to and during Easter weekend. Once the buds on the trees begin to swell, you're all done.

 

Come on out because we have lots of maple syrup, cream, butter and candy and will continue to all year! 

 

Easter weekend was gloriously beautiful. We still had snow (!) for sugar on snow and had many families returning for their annual visit. 

 

Scott moved on pretty quickly to cleaning the lines up in the woods. He finished Friday. Now he has to clean the evaporator and sugar camp, ready for all the guided tours that will continue throughout the year. 

 

The restaurant is “catching its breath”! We had a VERY busy spring. We are getting ready to add items to our menu like blueberries and omelettes, round about mid-May. 

 

The Rogar Mtn Hiking Trail is in good shape now and will only get better and better as spring progresses.

 

Scott is gearing up to go to Saltscapes EXPO again this year at Exhibition Park in Halifax. Eriel and Kalina will both be joining him to help. Check it out! It’s a fabulous Maritime event that shouldn’t be missed, and it’s the only show we go to.

 

In the meantime, Scott, Quita and Samara all very much look forward to gardening, hiking and enjoying the spring weather. And Kalina and her Aussie friend, Daniel are busy organizing their summer plans that include going out west to work.

 

 

We all at Sugar Moon Farm deeply thank you for visiting this journal and for your ongoing interest and support. Don't forget about us! We love having visitors all year and look forward to seeing you here sometime soon.

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