Wed

14

Feb

2018

An icy week of tapping!

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Wed

07

Feb

2018

Happy "almost-Spring"!!

Tapping
Tapping
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Mon

17

Apr

2017

And then there were buds

sugar maple buds
sugar maple buds

9:45 am

 

There are 2 signs that your sugar season's over: 

 

1.  the trees don't give you sap, either because they just don't, or you don't have weather conditions conducive to sap flow

2.  sap/syrup quality: sap collected after the trees have budded will not make good-tasting syrup.

 

Yesterday's sap journal post expressed the eternal optimism of the sugar maker, based entirely on the weather forecast at that time.

 

However, by the end of the day Easter Sunday, it was pretty obvious that the trees had very much enjoyed this warm spell.

 

You may not be able to see it in the picture, but these sugar maple buds have not only plumped up, they have elongated. The bud scales have separated, indicating that the trees have shifted into growth state. This is what's referred to as "budding" and it signals the end of the sugar season.

 

Once the trees reach this stage, there is no going back.

 

So even if this cold snap brings on a sap run, we know based on bud development that we can't make good syrup. The season's over. 

  

We just have to wait til next year.

 

We find it both fascinating and humbling that no matter how you go about maple sugaring, whether you're on buckets, or gravity-fed tubing, or high-efficiency vacuum sap collection system, everything comes down to the trees and the weather - forces that remain, ultimately, mysterious.

 

Maple syrup really is a gift.

 

8:45 pm

 

We began collecting sap late February and did our last boil on April 12.  It was exactly the same as last year, only our production was a little less.

 

We end our season at almost 80% of an average crop, but we remain incredibly grateful.

Sun

16

Apr

2017

Hanging in there...

8:20 am

 

So the forecasted cold snap hasn't happened yet. (originally predicted for this Easter Weekend).

 

But...they are calling for below-freezing temperatures the middle of this coming week, and then warm-enough temps during the day. This week will tell the tale. 

 

We're going to see what the trees think of that. We'll keep you posted!

Wed

12

Apr

2017

It ain't over til it's over...and the trees say it's not

8:30 am

 

The trees, so far, say it's not over. We've been collecting sap over the last couple of days.

 

We'll be doing another boil today. 

 

The first boil was Feb 25 - this is an unusually  long season!

 

We'll just see what the next few days bring.

 

There's still a fair bit of snow on the ground. Bud development looks like it's started but still early.  Once the buds have swollen, at some point, the sap chemistry changes and the syrup you make isn't great anymore. 

 

Remember, up here at Sugar Moon Farm, we're "behind" places at a lower elevation. Snow in the woods, trees just beginning to bud, versus trees already flowering in some parts of the province.

 

Spring takes its sweet time up here and we love it.

 

 

Sun

09

Apr

2017

Warm up

Fresh syrup HOT off the press!
Fresh syrup HOT off the press!

9:00 am

 

 

Almost everybody's really happy with this week's forecast of warm temperatures...except your local maple producers.

 

This week of mild weather has the same impact as the cold weather in March:  no sap. 

 

The temperatures have stayed above zero for the last three days, so the run has faded to a trickle. We need another cold snap to prime the trees for another run.

 

The syrup we made yesterday doesn't give any indication that the season's over. Both colour and flavour are one would expect to get right in the middle of a sugar season, not the end.

 

So we're not going to call it a season just yet. We'll wait for a couple of cold snaps and the trees should run again.

 

Next weekend, Easter, we're open Fri-Sat-Sun-Mon 9 to 5. Sounds like good sugaring weather that weekend - we'll keep you posted.

 

It was great working with Bob yesterday. Made delicious mid season syrup. 

 

 

 

 

Fri

07

Apr

2017

Boiling with Bob...

6:00 pm

 

Well the sap ran enough over the past day that we have tankful ready for boiling on Saturday. Yay! We'll be firing up late morning.

 

Extra special is that Bob Williams, our mentor and original owner of the farm, will be working with Scott on the boil, firing the evaporator, just like old times. 

 

Bob moved to Earltown from Vermont in 1973 and bought this 200 acre farm with the intention of turning it into a maple syrup operation.  

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Thu

06

Apr

2017

Finally!

April boil
April boil

9:50 am

 

Ever since March 15, we've seen only dribs and drabs of sap interspersed with freezing temperatures.

 

Finally, after two days of brilliant sunshine and 5 degree temperatures, we've got enough sap for a boil today.

 

The warm-up forecast for Friday onward ought to be interesting. Scott expects that we'll continue to get some sap, but how much will be up to the trees.

 

Now our concern is that we are going into above zero temperatures for an extended period with no sub-zero temperatures predicted. That, of course, will move the trees ever closer toward budding, and the end of the season...IF the weather forecast holds. 

 

And we all know how accurate the long-range forecasts have been this year!

 

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!

 

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!

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!!

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.

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!

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. 

 

 

Read More

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!

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!  

Thu

17

Mar

2016

Finally will be boiling...

9:35 am Scott reports that we have enough sap to boil tomorrow, Friday.  We'll fire up mid day with Bob Williams back firing.  Yay!  Bob is the original owner of the farm, the one we apprenticed with back in 1994.  He's freshly back from a cycling trip through Mexico with his partner, Glenda.   Look forward to boiling with them at some point every year.

 

Won't be a long boil.  The temperatures need to get a lot warmer for us to get sap.  

 

 

Saturday we have CBC coming here for the day...including Daniel Tiger!  

 

And...the happiest of birthdays to our Sugar Man, with love.

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Mon

14

Mar

2016

Cold winds = no sap

9:10 am Kept waiting for something to happen, and nothing did.  Temperatures did not get warm enough up here.  The winds were bitter cold yesterday!  Last night got down to minus 10.  Sun out today...but will it get warm enough?  We'll be busy with March Break and hope to be boiling at some point!

Thu

10

Mar

2016

Too cold for sap...

9:25 pm  Well, so much for the forecast.

 

The temperatures up here never got any "warmer" than plus 2 Wednesday night, and by 7 to 8 am Thursday had fallen to minus 3.

 

Needless to say, we didn't collect much sap at all.  Now we'll see what the weekend brings...or not.

 

On a more positive note, we sure had a great day of schools here:  Grade 8 French students and International students from Pugwash and special students who came all the way from the Annapolis Valley.  Homework for the Pugwash kids:  find a sugar camp close to where you live and go visit it!  Maple candies as prizes for the first three.  

Tue

08

Mar

2016

A good day with a few challenges

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Sun

06

Mar

2016

Snow and Ice = frozen sap

8:00 am Good snowy sunny morning!  We're plowed and open and ready to have a happy busy day with sugar on snow, snowshoes, tours, and pancakes.  

 

Sap?  We've got one and a half tanks of frozen sap that came down the hill after our last boil and it's been too cold to boil.  Can't manage the sap and the evaporator effectively when it's really cold.  

 

Looks like good sugaring weather coming up this week, though.  We expect we'll get some sap soon enough - maybe Monday.  The ups and downs of temperature this week should be perfect...although one never knows.  Up here in the "mountains" temperature are always cooler.  Cross your fingers! 

 

We'll take bookings on Thursday + Friday this week (Maple Magic) if you want to beat the crowds.  Same thing during March Break.  

 

Happy spring everyone!

Wed

02

Mar

2016

Great going!

8:20 pm Awesome run and boil today!  

 

Scott just got home.  Cleaned up the tanks and left with the sap running hard - about 10" an hour.  A bit of supper and then back down to check again.  

 

It's supposed to get very cold by around midnight, gradually dropping to minus 7 by around 1 am.  So the sap will slow and eventually stop.  

 

How much will we have in the tanks tomorrow?  Don't know.  We do know that they'll be back at it tomorrow.

 

Samara?  She had enough energy to actually play this afternoon for about 30 minutes, but it wiped her out and her fever's back.  Poor kid!  Just keeping her on miso soup, apple juice, Vit c suckers and...mac and cheese.  Christopher's little girl is sick too.  Guess it's going around.

 

Storm coming this weekend.  We'll see what conditions are like for Saturday - call our toll free line first before coming up to make sure we're open!

 

Wed

02

Mar

2016

Firing up!

12:00 noon Scott's heading down to the sugar camp shortly to start boiling.  

 

Christopher Howse is firing for him today - yay!

 

Turns out that the three guys Scott's relying on for firing this spring ALL have pregnant partners who are expecting to deliver sometime within the next 4 to 6 weeks.  This will certainly be a productive spring!  Maybe they'll all come on the "sugar moon"...

 

Scott's starting with a full tank of sap and then it's supposed to get pretty warm and rainy this afternoon so potentially the trees will open up.  Could be a boil into the early hours, until the rain turns to snow and the trees shut down.  Then tomorrow is cold again so it should be quiet.

 

We've made about 10% of an average crop so far.  Thinking of all those producers who still aren't tapped in yet and hoping it goes smoothly for them.  This is such an early season.  

 

We're doing a lot of "maple magic" packages this year - a reserved all-inclusive package during the week.  Very fun, cause those folks are booking an over-the-top brunch, guided tour and sugar on snow by reservation.  It means that during March Break folks are booking Tuesday thru Friday.  Staff limitations/availability will determine whether we can also take drop-ins.

 

Samara's on day #6 on the couch and is finally close to well.  Happy spring!

Mon

29

Feb

2016

A little sap...

We had a relatively cold night last night - minus 3 - and it's plus 12 here at Sugar Moon, but the sap didn't run all that hard.  We have a little bit to boil off sometime later today or tomorrow.  

 

Send healing wishes to couch-bound Samara!  She's on the mend!

Sat

27

Feb

2016

Hurry up and wait

Boiled Friday.  Made syrup.  Quick boil because there wasn't much sap overnight.  Had to clean it up because of cold temperatures coming Friday night.  It would have frozen in the tank. Not the end of the world, but not great for the next boil as it would make it a bit tricky.

 

So we have fresh maple syrup in our coffee this morning.  And sickness in the house, as per usual at the start of sugar season.  Juggling family, the need to finish tapping, the tours booked at the restaurant today.  All part of the sugar season.

 

Today's the first all-day sugar-on-snow.  Maggie will be there boiling and pouring the sticky goodness on crushed ice.  Derek will be learning.  Say hello them!

Thu

25

Feb

2016

Sap's running + we're boiling!

Woohoo!  Sap ran well all day and Scott's doing the "priming" boil right now.  

 

That means 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.

 

 Don't know at this point how much sap we'll get.  Last I heard, it was slowing and should stop over night with the cold temperatures.  Will update later!

Wed

24

Feb

2016

Racing the weather

Steam stack's up, sugar camp's ready for a boil.  Craziness, this season.  Scott says this spring is the earliest he's experienced in 23 years of making maple syrup.  

 

And last year was the latest start.  April 11.

 

We're not fully tapped in, but tomorrow will bring sap and we'll want to be ready to boil.  

 

Our neighbours, Maple Mist, have made yummy syrup already.  

 

So there it is...an erratic but early start to spring.  Winter's over folks!

Tue

23

Feb

2016

And more tapping!

So is it spring yet?  Yup!  The sap's been running in various spots around Nova Scotia.  Is it running here at Sugar Moon?  Not really...although it probably did a week ago.  Sounds like it will really be the first run for us later this week, with the rain that they are predicting.

 

Scott is racing the weather at this point.  He was up tapping most of today.  A few snags in the process but otherwise fairly smooth.

 

When will the first boil be?  Depends on when we're finished tapping and when the sugar camp is ready to go.  It's a bit early this year so we're trying to get ready quickly.  Long range forecasts are....interesting.  How will this season go?  Ask us in May. 

Sat

20

Feb

2016

More tapping today

A great day of tapping.  Good conditions.  He's almost 50% done.  

 

Fri

19

Feb

2016

Spring's just around the corner...

Scott started tapping yesterday! Finally temperatures warmed up enough to get to the woods.  He doesn't like to tap in colder than minus 5.  So far so good...apparently he's 25% done. 

 

There's still lots of snow in the woods - he's on snowshoes.  Pretty good conditions though - firm snow and cold. Sure better than last year!

 

Things are hopping at the restaurant and sugar camp down the hill - we're gearing up with new staff and welcoming back returning ones. 

 

First school booking was this week - the whole Scotsburn Elementary School.  100 children learning about maple, eating pancakes and maple syrup, listening to stories, rolling their own sugar-on-snow and hiking in snowy woods.  Lots of the kids had made their own syrup before.  Gotta love rural kids!

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Taste of Nova Scotia Restaurant of the Year 2015

"Essence of Nova Scotia"

Tourism Nova Scotia

Crystal Award

NS Institute of Agrologists 

Outstanding Farmer of 2014

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