1/30/2023 0 Comments
Happy New Year! - January 2023
We finally got to the end of the season and things were slowing down. We made the decision to shut the pump off, and finish what we had in storage. Jennifer went out to collect the last from the buckets. Yes, we still hang some old school. As she stopped by the pump house, she texted me, “You aren’t done yet!” Even with the pump shut down, we had nearly 500 litres of sap in the pump house just from gravity.
So we turned the pump back on. My buddy James came over and spent the morning splitting more wood for us, and in the afternoon ran back and forth from the pumphouse to the sugar house transferring almost another 1600 litres of sap! We spent another boiling until we were left with about 3 hours of firewood left. We had to call it a season at that point.
So, all said, my apologies for not keeping up with the blog, but we were a little busy last year. But back in the saddle here and will be posting regularly again during the season.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
We are officially sold out for 2021! The last of the orders will be sent out this week.
That was a whirlwind of a month or two. We began setting up and preparing in February with visions of maple dancing in our heads. Maple trees are very much ruled by the weather, and despite daily walks and pep talks, we did not see any signs of the girls waking up until well into March. The week of warm weather in the teens, and not dropping down at night really disrupted the natural flow of the sap. The additional stress on the trees lowered the sugar content in the raw sap as well.
The end result was that it took more sap to produce a litre of syrup than normal. Typically, on average we need 40 gallons of sap to produce a gallon of syrup. We just boil and boil and condense until we reach syrup. Syrup is measured in brix, and maple syrup is between 66-68 brix. This year it took about 50 gallons of sap to produce the same gallon.
As quickly as the sap started running, it was over. Overall this year we experienced about 2 weeks of gathering and boiling. We are now finishing up our end of season cleaning of the pans and buckets and lines and barrels. Farley has been supervising the clean up and has very much appreciated that he no longer needs to wear his coat. He still runs ahead on the trails and keeps an eye out for the deer.
We were a little disappointed this year as covid shutdowns have again not allowed us to share the boiling experience with friends and family, but we will continue to look ahead to next year.
Your Maple Farmer,
4/19/2021 0 Comments
Just a quick update for those of you who are still waiting for product shipments. We are still waiting for shipping supplies. With the COVID challenges this year (I know, another COVID excuse) supplies that we used to be able to go and pick up, have been delayed in shipping. We are currently looking at getting the last of our shipments out this week. I have just received an email that we should receive our supplies by Wednesday.
Thank you for your patience!
Your Maple Farmer,
What a crazy year! The trees opened up for an afternoon, and then went back to sleep. We have had lots of time for setting up the evaporator, and tidying up the sugar house. The warm temperatures we have had over the last week slowed everything down. Finally! This past weekend with some more snow and temps below 0 we saw some movement in the lines and the buckets. And last night the temp went down to -9C! It was still just 0 in the bush at 3 this afternoon, so despite the sun shine, things hadn’t really started to move. We will head out after dinner this evening and collect everything we can from the buckets, and it looks like tomorrow should be a great collection day, with processing starting likely on Thursday. This has definitely been a year of working on patience!
On another note, walking through the bush on Friday we came across Farley’s coat that the deer stole. No where near where we though he had lost it. Just goes to show ya that you can never trust a deer.
Your Maple Farmer,
Here’s the report from the bush.
Temperatures finally hit +10 (50 degrees F) which seems to be the trigger for our trees to wake up. A quick tour around the trails yesterday and the run started in about 3 pm.
Boiling will start this week, as the daytime temps are looking good, and cool nights. Looking over the long term (14 day) forecast, and the next two weeks look to be a very busy time for us.
I am looking forward to seeing the finished product in our new glass jugs!
Stay tuned as I will post some more pictures of the boil.
Your Maple Farmer,
3/12/2021 1 Comment
Preparing for the 2021 Season
Hello everybody and welcome to the 2021 Maple Season!
Farley and I have been out this week giving pep talks to the trees and getting taps set up. We have one more day of tapping to get everything set up for this year, and if we have the opportunity next week, we will try and add some new lines. We have made a few small upgrades this year in our gathering equipment and re arranged the kitchen in the sugar house to provide a more streamlined flow especially when we are packaging. Supplies are all in, but despite the warmer weather this week the sap has not really started to flow. I will check on it again today, but we are still waiting on mother nature. Yesterday while tapping, Farley chased a deer past me. The deer was staying in the deep snow, effortlessly bounding along. Farley stayed to the groomed trails, and well, he has enjoyed a winter by the hearth, so definitely not a threat to the deer. About 10 minutes later the deer came back through to re join her group. Then, 5 minutes after that Farley returned. Missing his coat. We have made several trips around to look for it, but my only conclusion was the deer I saw was a decoy for some rogue deer, and now there is some young punk buck sporting a blue hoodie.
Starting tomorrow the temperature is supposed to be dipping below freezing again for the next week, so I expect that sap collection will be a little slow. As I look back over last years records, our first boil was April 1, 2020 That seems to be relatively consistent for our area. I am really looking forward to the first boil, and will definitely post some pictures. Now I have to talk Jennifer into baking some of her signature sugar chalet cookies.
Your Maple Farmer,
Farley - King of the Wood Pile Pipeline ready for the first run!
5/12/2020 0 Comments
2020 SEASON COMPLETE & SOLD OUT!
Here we are 2 months since our last post and we are officially SOLD OUT!!
This was a wonderful first season for us in the new Sugar Chalet here at Deerpath Farm.
We are grateful for our loyal returning customers and to those who joined the Maple family this year! Trail Boss Farley kept a close eye on the new operation and everything ran smoothly. We all missed having the buzz of family and friends join us for our grand opening, but we are thankful that everyone is healthy here at the farm.
Special thanks to everyone who made this Sugar House dream come true!
Your Maple Farmers,
Michael & Jennifer
3/15/2020 0 Comments
MARCH 15, 2020 MAPLE UPDATE
Here’s a quick update from the sugar house. We have been a bit delayed in finishing the tapping, but have been adding new trees along the way. I just love the sound of the maple symphony as the trees drip into the buckets. Everything should be tapped by Sunday. The new evaporator has been plumbed and tested, and we can’t wait until we fill the house with the sweet smell. If all goes well and the temperature goes up a bit during the day we could be into our first boil next weekend. Spring is right around the corner, one of our friends has seen the first robin of the season!
2/17/2020 0 Comments
GRAND RE-OPENING SPRING 2020
Hello Maple lovers!
We are Back! After 25 years, my dream is coming true. The maple house construction began Fall 2019 and the interior is almost finished. The new evaporator is in place, and just begging to be put to work. We have had quite a team, a dream team to put everything together and get ready for this season. We will be packing down the trails this week, submitting our order for containers and supplies, and putting the last of the sap plumbing into place.
Tapping will begin the last week of February.
Duchess (black lab) is ready to greet everyone, and Farley (boxer) is ready to run the trails.
2019, had a few setbacks. I had hurt my back, that delayed construction of the new sugar house, and with the snowfall we had, the tent we had been operating in collapsed about two weeks before we were set to begin tapping. We made the decision not to try and force the season, but to re group and concentrate on 2020.
I want to thank our dream team, beginning with my wife Jennifer, she has really been instrumental in organizing and keeping us on track. Dick, Keevin, Tyler, David, Dwaine, Roger, Jamie, and Doug. Our township building inspector Paul for all of his guidance, and Josh at CDL, who supplied the new evaporator and sap storage tank, as well as a wealth of information (and patience!).
Stay tuned as we prepare to launch into Maple 2020!
Michael & Jennifer - Your personal Maple Farmers