Mon

27

Mar

2017

Still waiting...

Ready for syrup hot off the evaporator.
Ready for syrup hot off the evaporator.

11:30 am

 

The "dry" spell continues.

 

Despite the beautiful sunny weather, the temperatures still haven't been able to get above zero. 

 

We're just watching the long range and waiting for spring to break again. 

 

For what it's worth, in 2004 the season kicked off at the beginning of March and then shut down for 23 days.

 

We're nowhere close to that yet.

 

Luckily the difference this year is that we've alnmost 1/2 an average crop.

 

We have lots of yummy maple products available up here and are open Friday-Saturday-Sunday. Fridays continue to be the quieter day, if you're looking to avoid a wait for the dining room. And we still recommend visitors coming before 11 am or after 2 pm for a shorter wait for a table. 

 

Happy Spring!

 

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Thu

23

Mar

2017

Snowy, syrupy weekend!

9:00 pm 

 

It's a winter wonderland out here. We got LOTS of snow with this past blizzard.  A little sap before it started, but not enough to boil 

 

Again, it's a waiting game!

 

We're not alone, of course. Anyone else making syrup in these parts is waiting for warmer temps!

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Fri

17

Mar

2017

Happy birthday sweet Sugar Moon Scott!

9:00 am

 

Sweet Scott. What would we do without you? 

 

Hope the day is calm and the sap plentiful.

 

We love you!!

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Wed

15

Mar

2017

Snow + Sap!

Scott getting the fire going this afternoon.
Scott getting the fire going this afternoon.

8:45 pm

 

Scott and Christopher are finishing up a boil right now down at the camp.

 

Beginning late morning, we collected sap all day and by 4:30 we had close to 3/4 of a tank and a steady stream of sap.  We had to process it. 

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Sat

11

Mar

2017

"Why aren't you boiling?"

Waiting for sap.
Waiting for sap.

10:50 am

 

We did get a boil in on Thursday, firing up at 11 am and wrapping up by supper time. Made some great syrup.  The boil cleaned the tanks of sap, before the return of sub-zero temperatures.

 

Now we're back to winter. Last night was around minus 20 and this morning, although sunny, is very cold still. 

 

Next warm spell should be sometime next week, according to some weather sites. But will a temperature spike be enough to wake up the trees?  We'll see!

 

Sometimes people come here to visit at this time of year and are disappointed that we aren't boiling. Hopefully they learn while they are here that we can't control the sap flow and that we boil when conditions allow. When it's too cold, we can't make syrup. We also can't keep sap very long and process it later- the quality of the syrup is impacted. 

 

So sugar season is this crazy mix of hurry up and wait. Hurry up to get tapped in, to get the evaporator and sugar camp ready. Hurry up to line up and train 20+ staff, to keep up with group inquiries and social media. But inevitably, we are not in control of the very product that is the heart of our business. 

 

So we learn patience. And we appreciate this incredible time of year when the deep cold of winter gradually lets go, the trees gradually wake up and rehydrate, the pussy willows begin emerging, the Canada geese come back, the foxes mate and the owls sit on their eggs.

 

Samara says that at this time of year, the sun "turns more golden and gets warmer.|" And it does feel different. And just like that, we're grateful.

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Wed

08

Mar

2017

Rain = sap

Waiting for sap.
Waiting for sap.

10:28 am

 

So after several days of wintery cold, the temperatures are creeping above zero - right now it's raining and about plus 3 here at Sugar Moon. 

 

Waiting to see what the trees do.

 

 Because the sap is 97% water, we need warmer temperatures for it to run. There are several forecast sites that aren't calling for it to go below zero tonight - that bodes well.

Fri

03

Mar

2017

Lots of syrup, back to cold!

11:58 pm

 

Great boil yesterday!

 

 

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Thu

02

Mar

2017

Boiling again after a late night...!

Steam stack + smoke stack = boiling
Steam stack + smoke stack = boiling

12:10 pm

 

Scott came home at 1 am this morning. They left a full tank and a half and the sap still running. Today though the temperature's supposed to drop by late afternoon. The sap will stop. And then it'll be a waiting game again and the next few days are going to be super cold. 

 

All went reasonably smoothly last night. There are always a couple of glitches at the start of the season...like a malfunctioning thermometer,  things like that. The syrup is awesome. Took a little more time due to the sap being a bit lower in sugar content. 

 

Scott was interviewed for CBC Information Morning this morning - should air tomorrow. Just looking for a season update.

 

Truro Daily News did a sweet little article about us on Shrove Tuesday that includes the recipe  for our award-winning buttermilk pancakes. Check it out!

 

For me (Quita) it's the usual activities: schools are now clamouring to book their field trips - should be a full, fun season! Lining up staff for the busy March Break. Making sure we have supplies coming in. 

 

Will check in later after the boil's done!

Wed

01

Mar

2017

Evening boil...

Fire!
Fire!

7:45 pm

 

Boiling tonight! Started around supper time with a full tank. Woohoo!

 

Come on up this weekend! Our Sugar Season hours begin: Fri-Sat-Sun 9 to 5.

  • brunch
  • tours
  • sugar-on-snow
  • snowshoeing
  • maple products
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Wed

01

Mar

2017

Rain = sap?

Snow still deep but dropping.
Snow still deep but dropping.
8:50 am

Rainy mild weather coming in. Waiting to see what the trees are going to do! 
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Mon

27

Feb

2017

Sunny Monday

Fresh clear sap!
Fresh clear sap!

9:40 am

 

Boiling today!

 

Scott and Christopher will clean up the little bit of sap left from a thin stream over the past couple of rainy days.  

 

Sounds like we will get more sap this week. The plan is to process it all before the temperatures drop on the weekend. We'll be back to winter temps Saturday and Sunday. Then more sap coming mid March, it appears.

 

Other parts of Nova Scotia have seen sap for a while now. Producers have been making syrup. Spring is definitely here!

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Sat

25

Feb

2017

Saturday Sap Update

8:55 am

 

Happy spring!  Sap trickled all night. Depending upon what happens today with sap, Scott will either boil tonight or tomorrow.

 

We've got just barely enough for a "priming boil".

 

What's a priming boil? It's when we put around 150 gallons of sap into the evaporator, light the fire and boil for about 4 to 5 hours.  At that point, the evaporator is ready for the season and we'll start making maple syrup.

 

Sugar season's here at last!

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Fri

24

Feb

2017

Getting ready for the season

Tapper tracks up to the sugar woods.
Tapper tracks up to the sugar woods.
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Thu

23

Feb

2017

The sap's started!

Geared up and tapping.
Geared up and tapping.

9:30 pm Thursday Feb 23 2017

 

Happy Spring! The sap's started running!

 

The trees are awake and we're collecting sap. 

 

 

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Fri

17

Feb

2017

Spring is just around the corner

Keeping the fires going.
Keeping the fires going.

FEBRUARY 17 2017

Quita here. In Earltown, we are in the midst of a very snowy February. We're just digging out of what is storm #3 this past week. The snow is a few feet deep. it's beautiful!  Hard to believe that the sap will be running soon!

 

Lots to do first, though. Scott just finished repairs in the sugar woods last week. Next week he hopes to begin tapping, weather permitting. Don't want to tap in colder than minus 5 - too hard on the trees, the gear and of course the tapper.

 

 

We'll be posting throughout the season! Wish us luck!

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Fri

15

Apr

2016

2016 final boil!

The last boil of 2016.
The last boil of 2016.

6:35 pm Friday  The sap did indeed run overnight Monday.  It was still surprisingly crystal clear Tuesday morning when we did the final boil of 2016.

 

Not only was it crystal clear, but the sap sugar was 2% - great!

 

Christopher wasn't able to help out with the boil.  He was looking after his little one and expectant wife who's having a little sugar baby any day now.

 

That allowed Dave Hachey to help out Scott and fire the evaporator this time, after he and his wife had their own little sugar baby, Simon, just a week ago.  Congratulations Dave and Christine!  And good luck to Christopher and Amanda!  

 

Given this wintry weather and fluctuating temperatures, you may wonder why we are not still making syrup.  

 

It's because this is one of those years when the sap keeps running but it will no longer make good syrup.

 

The buds have swollen and the sap has an astringent after-taste, so we're all done.  

 

It's hard to believe that we would have a season like this after the one in 2015.  This year was our earliest start ever in the history of the farm, and was also the longest lasting season:  7 weeks.  To top it all off, it was an above-average yield.

 

Last year was the latest-starting season ever, the shortest ever, and we don't want to talk about the yield...

 

All that's left now is the clean up:  tapping out and pan-scrubbing. 

 

Then there's woodpiles to replenish, but then we're getting into summer.  Never mind. 

 

For those who like end-of season syrup, come on up - it's on the shelf, along with syrup from earlier in the season and lots of maple butter, maple cream and maple candy.

 

Thanks to all of you who made the trek up to Sugar Moon this sugar season!  And much appreciation for all the school kids and international students who've had - and continue to have - great field trips here.

 

Now's the time to book a chef night, bring family and friends up for brunch, plan your Mother's Day outing and get together with friends for a hike.  

 

And sugar-on-snow?  We're still offering it all day every weekend til the end of April.  And after that?  Book our Maple Magic package and you can get it year round!

 

Warm wishes from all of us,

Scott, Quita, Samara and Staff

 

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Mon

11

Apr

2016

snow then sap!

Bob Williams (mentor, previous owner) with a lovely U.K. family on a tour Saturday
Bob Williams (mentor, previous owner) with a lovely U.K. family on a tour Saturday

9:50 pm Monday We had a great day Saturday!  Lots of visitors, tours, sugar on snow, and a productive boil with Bob and Scott.  Wrapped up with a little stream of sap coming in.  

 

Then Sunday hit.  We received over 22 cm of snow here, plus drifting.  We couldn't open.  Had a quiet day at home.

 

Today the sun was back and so was the sap!  Ran nice and clear this afternoon so Scott is collecting.  He'll see how it looks tomorrow and, unbelievably, potentially do another boil.  This has GOT to be the last one...??

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Fri

08

Apr

2016

Friday boil!

4:00 pm Friday As expected, the sap ran all night and we collected a tank full, with sap trickling in the other. Boiling now!  Not as big a run as we'd hoped - if it had been, we would likely have been boiling last night - but we are grateful for every drop.  

 

Scott and Christopher are cleaning up that one tank.  When he gets home, we'll know whether we collected enough for a boil Saturday.

 

 Boil #12 I think.  Woohoo!  

 

Syrup is dark, end of season flavour, for those folks who have been waiting for it.

 

Update @ 9:55 pm  Sap's still running.  We're boiling tomorrow, firing up at 11:30 am.

Scott figured that one tank would be full by 5 am, so he'll slip down and change tanks.  We'll boil til the sap's gone!  Lucky 13.

Thu

07

Apr

2016

more sap!

8:45 pm Thursday Cold temperatures all week have meant that the trees were frozen and not giving us any sap.

 

Today, however, the weather was warm and tonight rain is setting in.  Heavy rain tomorrow.  When Scott checked the sap at around supper time, it was just trickling.  Did this mean that the trees have not fully thawed after this cold week?  Don't know!  We'll have to check tomorrow morning.  

 

It's nice to get this mild weather after three days of freezing temperatures.  Here's hoping for at least one more boil!  The trees have not budded up here...so the next few days could be interesting!

Sun

03

Apr

2016

Into the cold

10:35 Sunday  Another good day.  Boiled off a tank of sap.  Made darker syrup but still mid-season flavour.  Cleaned up all the sap.

 

A pleasure to have Bob here again! Answered some questions about sap and remembered checking the sugar content of individual trees on the farm, comparing year to year.  

 

Tonight is supposed to be minus 14. Light snow on the ground.  The next couple of days will be cold, with more snow expected on Tuesday.  No sap will come until it warms up again.  Sounds like maybe Thursday.  The rain should bring sap.

 

Lots of happy visitors from all over - Australia, Ireland, Philippines, Brazil...and then Rawdon Hills, Cape Breton, Moncton, Halifax and more.  Tours, sugar-on-snow.  Even Samara pitched in and was welcoming visitors.  Great day all around!

 

 

Sat

02

Apr

2016

Sunday sugar!

10:40 pm Saturday  Great day today, boiling with the rain coming down on the metal roof.  Made excellent mid-season syrup.

 

Left a tank of sap to boil tomorrow, Sunday.  We'll fire up at 11 again, Bob and Scott.  Come on up!

Fri

01

Apr

2016

Firing up Saturday + Sunday!

8:30 pm Friday  The plan is to boil tomorrow starting at around 11 am.

 

Bob will be here.  He taught Scott how to make syrup over 20 years ago.  It will be great to have him firing!

 

Then Sunday we should do it all again + clean up whatever sap we collect over the weekend before the minus 10 temperatures Sunday night.

Thu

31

Mar

2016

...and boiling!

4:00 pm Thursday  Boiled yesterday, Wednesday.  Scott and Christopher fired up at around 1 pm.  Boiled til after supper, left with the sap running a little.

 

It ran a little over night, and is running really well right now.  We'll probably boil tonight.  Better than boiling in a rainstorm tomorrow!

 

So far this season we've boiled 7 times and have made about 60% of an average crop. Great, considering we like to boil at least 1/2 by the end of March.  We're right on track.

 

Pretty cool to have 5 year olds from New Glasgow Academy yesterday - they had such great questions, ate pancakes and maple syrup and went for a romp on the trails. Then the Grade 2's and 3's came today.  Lively, excited group who loved the pancakes.  And then listened extremely well when we stood under the sap tanks so that they could hear the sap running.  We love schools!  Tomorrow it's French Grade 9's!

Tue

29

Mar

2016

...and boiling

9:45 pm Tuesday Great night of boiling til 1 am for Scott, Christopher and daughter #2, Kalina, home from Canmore for a visit. 

 

Warm temperatures overnight meant more sap; it filled one tank before things got cold around noon and froze up.  Tomorrow Scott and Christopher will be back at it.  

 

Temperatures look pretty warm these next few days.  Should bring more sap, but how long will it run?  We'll see!

 

Still making great tasting early mid season syrup.

 

Meanwhile...Samara's still recuperating.  Went for a walk finally today!  

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Mon

28

Mar

2016

sap's running + we're boiling!

7:10 pm Monday Finally collected enough sap to boil!  Christopher and Scott are fired up and ready to go for a few hours.  Tomorrow's supposed to be messy.  We'll see how long they have to go into the night!

 

 

Sun

27

Mar

2016

and still needing warmer weather!

4:45 pm Sunday A raw day Saturday meant no sap.  Today has been nice and sunny this afternoon but still the sap is just trickling.  We're waiting patiently.  

 

In the meantime, we've had a great weekend with lots of visitors!

 

We'll post here just a soon as it looks like we'll be boiling.

Wed

23

Mar

2016

the "sugar moon"

9:55 pm Wednesday  It's the "sugar moon" tonight - the full moon during the maple season.  Time to give thanks to Mother Earth for her gift of sap.  

 

Folks have been emailing or calling and asking if the "tapping" is over.  Yes, the tapping is done.  It's the first step of the sugar season that involves drilling a fresh hole in each sugar maple and gently tapping a spile into the hole so that we can collect the crystal clear sap.

 

The maple season is well underway.

 

But from our viewpoint, there is lots of season to come.  The sap will make great syrup as long as the trees don't bud.  And forecasts indicate that budding might not happen until well into the middle of April.

 

We've boiled 6 times.  We're expecting quite a few more.  We're waiting for warm temperatures to thaw the trees so that the sap will run.  

 

Patience.  

Tue

22

Mar

2016

The waiting continues...

12:30 pm Tuesday Need warmer temperatures!  

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