Lots of activity in the sugarbush yesterday--300 taps on the vacuum line put in...whew! The rest of our taps are buckets and a small gravity fed line we have next door at the in-laws. We'll do those a bit later. Old fashioned taps dry up faster than the ones on our vacuum system, so we don't want to get them in too early and have them heal up before the season is over. Timing is everything, and it's always an educated guess. No one ever knows exactly what the season is going to be at the beginning.
While some of us were in the sugarbush, others of us were in the sugar shed bottling the last of our 2019 syrup and doing some of the cleaning that needs to be done before the season seriously gets under way. We spent an unreasonable amount of time trying to get water from the well at the sugarhouse into the sap tank. At first we were afraid our pump of one season was bad, but in the end it was ice in the hose. After surmounting that obstacle and rinsing the tank, we found that the hose that drains the tank had ice in it as well. So we now had water in the tank, but no way to get it out. (Fun, fun!) Eventually, we managed to get the drain thawed and the tank emptied. There was still a bit of stubborn sediment left on the bottom of the tank after this, but a bit of white vinegar and another rinse did the trick and we are sparkly clean now!