Sat

20

Apr

2019

A sweet ending to a big season

So, having wrapped up our 2019 production season with our Good Friday boil, all we can say is, "Wow!" and we're filled with gratitude. This one was definitely a year for the record books. Our yield of 0.87 liters of  maple syrup per tap was the highest ever for our woods, both as Sugar Moon and during the Boondock days when Bob had the place (1973-1996). The weather worked in our favour and the trees were incredibly generous with sap that had a sugar content of between 2.5 and 3 % for almost all of the season. Every year we put in our taps and wait to see what happens. We take the good with the bad because that's how this all works. After all, this sugaring thing is truly a gift.


If you’ve been waiting for the dark end-of-season syrup, we’ve got it. Come on up and pick up 4 litres, 2 litres or 1 litres. Can’t make it to the farm? Order online.


Now we all carry on to finish April and move into the late spring and summer seasons. We’re open year round and expect a busy and fun year. Best wishes to all of you and Happy Spring from us, Scott and Quita❤️




1 Comments

Fri

12

Apr

2019

It ain’t over til it’s over....and it ain’t over.

Big boil last Sunday and three days of cold, flurries and sun and we're boiling again today (Friday) with hopes for another one over the weekend.  We've officially surpassed our average expected yield and are eager to see how far the trees want to go this year.  Given the signs of spring, the end is near......

Read More 0 Comments

Sun

07

Apr

2019

Short and Sweet!

Read More 0 Comments

Fri

05

Apr

2019

Happy Birthday Sugar Moon Samara!!

Happy birthday sugar baby🥰
Happy birthday sugar baby🥰
Read More 0 Comments

Thu

04

Apr

2019

That Was Wild!!

From the Wild"'s Kevin Kossowan & Giselle Couteau from Edmonton’s beloved “Duchess Bake Shop” couldn't have picked a better week to visit us. They were able to experience an absolutely gorgeous filming day in the woods Tuesday while we collected sap and then an awesome boil Wednesday with lots of sap, snow, heavy rain, wind, steam and syrup - virtually a whole sugar season expressed in one boil.  It was our biggest production day this season, thanks to a sap sugar of close 3% and lots of it. As expected, given where we are in the season, both the colour and flavour profile shifted. Scott calls it late midseason syrup -  excellent flavour with just a hint that the end of the season is coming. 


We’re going to boil today and clear the tanks before an expected minus 7 tonight and we’ll see what will happen over the next few days. Might get enough for a boil Saturday 😊.

Read More 0 Comments

Wed

03

Apr

2019

Lots of sap and Earltown’s been hopping!

We did in fact get sap on Saturday and had a great boil with Bob Williams, the original owner of the farm and his partner, Glenda. It’s traditional to have them out for at least one boil during the season and it’s always special. They both fired, chatted with guests and staff and it was so special to have them back at the sugar camp. 
Read More 0 Comments

Fri

29

Mar

2019

Sap for Saturday?

So, after some significant cold, we were able to get a good boil in Thursday.  The sap did run, but not as much as the temperature had us hoping.  A testament to how "frosty" the trees and ground still is, perhaps.  We have to see what the trees give us today -friday.  We're hoping to get enough to boil tomorrow during the Earltown Community Maple Festival. 

0 Comments

Mon

25

Mar

2019

Sunday/Monday Sap

Turns out that the sap ran really well all afternoon and into the evening during our Sunday boil.  The best run so far this season.  Things froze up overnight (-6 degrees) and then  the trees decided that plus 2 and sunshine Monday afternoon was enough to run again.  They're doing their thing now, folks!

Read More 0 Comments

Sat

23

Mar

2019

Saturday update

Friday’s boil was a good one. The camp was full of steam and the rain was so loud on the steel roof. It was another world in there....a magical maple world 🍁

Scott and Matt boiled til late evening and Scott bottled and came home later. 

Today? We have a little sap but will continue collecting and boil tomorrow, Sunday, firing up at 11:30ish. Woohoo!
Read More 0 Comments

Fri

22

Mar

2019

The Sugar Moon!

The “Sugar Moon”
The “Sugar Moon”
Read More 0 Comments

Sat

16

Mar

2019

Saturday boil!

Scott was home by midnight last night. The sap indeed ran steadily all night so we’ll be firing up at around 1 pm today. 

The photo below was taken by Matt, our fireman. Here’s what he shared on social media:

#Repost @earltownmatt
・・・
Scott @sugar_moon_farm drawing off the first batch of syrup for 2019. This was my first time firing the evaporator and I really enjoyed it! It’s a peaceful place, especially compared the hustle and bustle of the pancake house! We saved a small vial for the window sill in the pancake house, where we’ll chronicle the changes in syrup colour and flavour from the upcoming season. Come check it out!!! #sweetsweetsap #tasteofnovascotia #visitnovascotia
Read More

Sat

16

Mar

2019

It’s a rainy night boil.

Read More 1 Comments

Thu

14

Mar

2019

Sap's running! Spring is here!

Spring has arrived!!
Spring has arrived!!
Read More 3 Comments

Tue

05

Mar

2019

All tapped in!

Read More

Mon

18

Feb

2019

Sunny days for tapping!

Read More 2 Comments

Fri

08

Feb

2019

Sugar Season 2019

Read More 3 Comments

Wed

18

Apr

2018

Wed Apr 18 It's a wrap!

This last week saw our trees shift gears really quickly.

 

We made some end of season syrup and then saw sap flow dwindle to trickle-drip. 

 

Given the state of bud development and the forecast calling for mild temperatures for the next several days, Scott pulled the line and called it a season.

 

Looking back, we were all tapped in by the 18th of February, so our trees have been tapped pretty close to 8 weeks. This is what a lot of the guide books say is the limit for tap hole viability on gravity-fed pipeline and traditional open-air bucket collection systems. 

 

We have heard that some maple producers have had record-breaking yields per tap.     

Scott figures that our elevation, in combination with winds coming predominantly out of the north/northeast this spring, are why we haven't experienced a similar season.

 

During much of the season, while running errands in Truro and Tatamagouche Scott often encountered  temperatures that were 7-8 degrees warmer than what he encountered once arriving back home (e.g. 10 degrees in Truro;  2 degrees at Sugar Moon).    

 

We normally expect to be a couple of degrees cooler than  "lowland" areas, but to have this much of a temperature gap for so much of the season is unprecedented and to have it happen over and over again for several weeks....weird. 

 

Despite these conditions, we were able to attain our average yield per tap; we're super happy for that. Congratulations to those producers who broke records.

 

Happy spring, all!

 

Remember...we're OPEN year round. Don't be a stranger! Friday-Saturday-Sunday all year and then daily in July and August. You can experience all day brunch, sugar camp tours, maple products and awesome hiking...along with Chef Nights and special events throughout the year. 

Thu

12

Apr

2018

Thurs Apr 12 Mid-season syrup now!

Read More 1 Comments

Thu

05

Apr

2018

Apr 5 2018 Happy Birthday Samara! (and the sap's been running...)

Read More 0 Comments

Sat

31

Mar

2018

Sat Mar 31 8:15 am Sweet and Steamy Friday!

Read More 4 Comments

Thu

29

Mar

2018

Thurs Mar 29 9:00 pm Sap weather!

Smoke and steam = a boil!
Smoke and steam = a boil!
Read More

Thu

15

Mar

2018

Thurs evening March 15 2018

Read More 1 Comments

Tue

13

Mar

2018

Tues Mar 13 2018 Trickles of sap

Waiting for a run.
Waiting for a run.
Read More

Wed

07

Mar

2018

March 7 2018 Boiling!

Sweet and steamy in the sugar camp.
Sweet and steamy in the sugar camp.
Read More 9 Comments

Fri

02

Mar

2018

Fri Mar 2 2018 Hurry up and wait...and be thankful.

Photo Christine Whelan-Hachey
Photo Christine Whelan-Hachey
Read More 1 Comments

Fri

23

Feb

2018

Feb 23 2018 The earliest tapping ever!

Read More

Wed

14

Feb

2018

Feb 14 2018 An icy week of tapping!

Read More

Wed

07

Feb

2018

Feb 7 2018 Happy "almost-Spring"!!

Tapping
Tapping
Read More

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.  

Read More

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. 

Read More

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!

 

 

Read More

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
Read More

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! 
Read More

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!

Read More

Fri

24

Feb

2017

Getting ready for the season

Tapper tracks up to the sugar woods.
Tapper tracks up to the sugar woods.
Read More

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

 

Read More

MAPLE MAGIC

Hosting visitors or treating staff?  Want the perfect day trip for your family?

Give them an experience. Book MAPLE MAGIC for an all-inclusive package. 


Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter for the inside scoop!

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

We Accept: