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Tina Hartell

After the rush of the holidays when things have settled down, one can’t help but look ahead to the 2015 sugaring season: woods repairs, tapping, collecting, and making syrup. It’s true that we could be boiling in February – unlikely but it happened in 2012. With any luck, we’ll get a good sap run in March but it’s most likely we’ll be boiling straight through the first few weeks in April. In the new unstable climate, we have to be ready for anything. There are no predictions.

But despite all the list making and anticipation for the coming months, there’s not much to really do right now. The water pipe to the sugarhouse is frozen solid so we can’t clean anything yet. The outside temperatures are hovering in the single digits making it hard on the trees (and us) to start tapping although we will start soon, picking our days when temperatures get into the upper teens and twenties. So, in the interim, new drop lines (the piece of tubing that connects the tap in the tree to the lateral tubing) are getting made to replace some of the older ones in the sugar bush. Studies show that replacing drop lines every 3-5 years increases sap yields tremendously.

And, there is also time for one of my favorite activities, visiting the maple equipment stores where clean, shiny, warm, new equipment awaits you! All you have to do is lay a card on the counter and it can be yours. So fun to walk around and look, touch, imagine owning it, and, in some cases, wonder what it’s used for.