Today is the last day of March. Here in Maine spring is an unpredictable season. Sometimes "sapping season" is very short and accelerated, other times, like this year, it kind of meanders along over a longer period of time. We have had multiple cold snaps that stop the sap cold for a few days, and then we have a warm up and the sap runs again. Our north ridge is still snow covered, so we have the potential to keep going for a while if we keep getting cold nights. It's always interesting to see how spring unfolds.
We woke up to a surprise one morning a week ago. We went to bed with 13" of empty space left in our big sap tank. The temp was 31, the sap was slowing, and we planned to start the RO in the morning. But the temp actually warmed a bit and the sap ran all night. The tank was overflowing in the morning! Suddenly things were super busy. We were able to bail some of the sap out into barrels and get the RO going in a hurry. Just one example of the unpredicatability of it all.
We've been bottling, bottling, bottling. We were really low on amber by the time the season started, so it seems nice to be restocked with that. The shelves are overflowing and we're starting to bulk package in stainless steel drums. We'll pull those out as we need to through the year and replenish our shelves.
We threw our doors open last weekend for Maine Maple Sunday (and Saturday, too!) We were excited to meet new folks and share with them the whole process of making maple syrup, not to mention the sweet results! There were all sorts of samples and goodies to enjoy. It was a lot of fun, and God blessed us with good weather for it. The sap was running and we were able to boil, so everything was going on for people to see firsthand.
Right after Maine Maple Sunday the weather turned cold, cold, cold. So we've had a bit of a break. As I write, the RO is running and we are planning to fire up the evaporator again tonight. So far we've made just shy of 90 gallons of syrup. Some amber, some dark--all beautiful and yummy! There are no big warm ups in sight...so this could go on for a while longer! We wouldn't complain.