These are exciting and anticipatory times in the sugarbush as last-minute items are checked off the list. As that list gets shorter by the day, we are turning our attention increasingly to the weather forecast and the all-important decision of “When to tap?”
Smart sensors are installed and grabbing what precious little sunlight has shone this January. Charge batteries, CHARGE!
Lateral lines are all patched and tight with new spouts on the end of each drop. These little side pulls, constructed from old, chewed laterals, have been a big help to us in tightening up our system. First a before photo, second an after photo, and third a zoomed in photo of the side pull rigged with double end line hooks.
Additionally, a small pocket-sized carpenter’s level is worth its weight in gold for ensuring you have continuous drop from spout through lateral to main line to the pumphouse.
After an exceptionally windy and raucous 2022, we revamped and strengthened our sap tank cover.
An old broken valve has been replaced by new hardware (valve with the white handle is the new replacement), and I even took a little hacksaw to knock the end of one handle off to get a bit more clearance.
The next big to-do list item is to get our research canisters sledded out into position. A fresh 3-5 inches of snow will make that task bunches easier.
Hopefully you are whittling down your checklist, or if you are a producer from southern Ohio or neighboring southerly state, you may already be making some syrup! Heck, even as far north as Vermont, early tappers are getting a sap run already. Hopefully this early warm spell is not indicative of yet another roller coaster season, but regardless – Wishing You a GREAT Season!