We always say that you never know how a sapping season is going to go until it's over. Ours isn't over, but never in our wildest dreams did we expect things to be the way they are. I'm sure very few people did. Life has a way of bringing the unexpected.
We had big plans for our first official Maine Maple Sunday, but with the coronavirus situation, we decided to put it all on hold. Playing things safe definitely seemed the way to go. The Maine Maple Producers Association hopes to have a Maine Maple Sunday later, after this crisis is over. It won't be during maple season, but hopefully it will be at a far more enjoyable time, when people can relax and enjoy themselves without the worry of getting sick or making others sick.
As far as the actual season goes, maple trees don't know anything about coronavirus, and they are busy doing their thing out in the sugar bush just like always. It has been a steady year so far. We have made around 50 gallons of maple syrup to date, most of it Dark/Robust Flavor (by far our best-selling grade), with some beautiful Amber/Rich Flavor to round things off. With more of us knowledgeable and confident about running the evaporator, we haven't had to pull any all night boils yet, but have been able to keep up by running it during the days.
We woke up to a foot of snow on Tuesday morning. Sap snow! The weather forecast had predicted 5" at the most, so it was a bit of a surprise. When you combine a Maine mud season with a foot of snow, it makes for some interesting stuff. Thankfully the weather was warm enough that it melted from the driveway over the course of the next two days, so we didn't have to try to plow it. Plowing a muddy driveway is definitely not fun.
We may be busy making maple syrup, but it has certainly taken a back seat in our thoughts. It's a sobering situation everyone finds themselves in, and our prayers are with those who are sick, and with those who are on the front lines fighting to save lives. Along with the whole world, we are looking forward to being on the other side of this. May God help us find the way!