We’re all done making maple syrup now. Nothing left to do but pull taps, clean pans, and get 1000 litres of syrup out the door next week to all our syrup share members.
We ended up producing a bit more syrup than last year. The weather was as favourable, plus we had a couple of small vacuum pumps giving us a bit more sap than before. We thought that last year was as good as it would get, but this year bested it.
It was not without its challenges, though. The season began earlier than we had hoped for, and Sean wasn’t fully recovered from his hernia operation yet. We had to quickly assemble a crew of tappers to get all the trees tapped in time to catch the first run of sap around February 20th. Then we battled a string of broken or frozen equipment. And we had a bit of a learning curve to get over with our new vacuum pumps, filter press, and bottler.
Finally, though, it all started to come together, and, after a couple of early boils, the real season began March 30. In the 20 days from March 30 to April 18, we boiled on 16 of them. Genevieve’s dad came to help with the boiling for a few days, and was there to help with our biggest day this year, where we bottled 335 litres, staying up to midnight to get it all bottled. Unlike last year, where we made almost all light syrup, a few days of warm temperatures around April 11 pushed the syrup into the dark category. Fortunately, the weather cooled back down after that and we continued making dark syrup for the rest of the season.
Every year is different, but every year I feel we learn more and become better syrup makers, and it gets just a little easier for us. We hope you enjoy this year’s crop!