We have officially completed tapping for the 2013 Maple Syrup Season!
This year we drilled a grand total of 1185 taps; a staggering 986 more than last year. Only two buckets are in use and are for educational purposes more so than as a contribution to the syrup production. The rest of the taps are set up to use the more modern tubing system to collect the sap.
A new addition to the farm is the brand new vacuum system. This system is far more efficient as it automatically transports the sap from each tree across the sugar bush to one of our three holding tanks. The vacuum does not 'pull' sap from the tree, it merely encourages sap to flow more freely and slide through the tubes that are downhill from the collection tanks. In this way, the vacuum boosts the collection of sap without harming the sugar bush.
The lines from last year's production were left up all year but the new ones needed for the additional taps began to be installed back in October of 2012. Once everything was set up and ready we had to wait for the appropriate weather before we tapped the trees. For trees that haven't been previously tapped we drill a small hole about 1.5 inches into the trunk of a Sugar Maple Tree. If the tree HAS been tapped before, we purposely drill a new hole well away from the old one to give the tree time to heal. We then hammer the spiel into the hole, attach the tubing (or bucket) and wait. Over 50 man hours went into tapping the sugar bush this year from February 23 - March 2, 2013.
The ideal conditions for collecting sap are days when the temperature is below zero overnight and above zero during the day. We can collect a lot of sap if the temperature difference is greater because the sap flows quickly from the roots of the tree to its branches in preparation for new growth in the Spring.
Everything is now prepared and Kallonen Maple Farm is officially open for the 2013 Maple Syrup Season.
1:56PM, March 7, 2013 - roughly 500 gallons of sap has been collected.