Wood-Fired Vermont Maple Syrup
Come Taste the Trees
Sugaring 2019 Updates
March 26, 2019
The trees have opened up, and sap has finally started to flow. Yesterday was cold, just around 35F but with the strong sun, we collected about 1200 gallons of sap (or about 2/3 of our raw-sap collection tank). The sap is really sweet this year. We normally have a low sugar percentage -about 1.8% - but this year we’ve been consistently around 2.2%. This makes a big difference in the amount of syrup we make. At 1.8% sugar, we need 44 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. At 2.2% we only need 36 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. We can make 10 more gallons of syrup per full tank of raw sap. We also had a stunning 3% sugar in the open-grown maples from which we’ve hung some buckets. Our friends who sugar a couple towns over also have high-sugar content in their sap. The vacuum has helped us a lot during this late start to the season. Buckets are not filling quickly despite some warm days.
We’ve boiled five times and are just about at 25% of our crop. Starting tomorrow it looks like we’re going to get buried in sap! Hopefully we can get through a very-warm weekend and into a cooler next week.
March 18, 2019
By all accounts it’s been a late start to the sugaring season here in our corner of Vermont. The sap began to trickle in on March 12 but really didn’t start in earnest until March 14. Our sap tanks filled on both March 15 and 16, and we boiled both days. Now things have frozen up and it looks like we may not boil again until Wednesday or Thursday. This time last year we had already boiled 7-8 times and were digging out sap lines from under 5’ of March snow!
We boil down the springtime sap from 2500 maple trees living on our hillside in Weston, Vermont. All of our sap comes from one sugarbush, so the syrup tastes like Bobo’s Mountain: the soil, minerals, organic material, water and the trees. Bobo's Mountain Sugar is a wood-fired operation, and we use wood sourced either from our land or from our neighbors to ensure our fuel is local.
It takes a lively mix of science and magic to make maple syrup, and we wait for those perfect early spring days where night-time temperatures are below freezing and day-time temperatures are above freezing. Then, as the sap is running, we collect it, light up a fire, and boil it down to syrup. When the syrup comes off the pans and you have your first taste of Bobo's Mountain...perfection.