At Nova Maple Syrup we love more than just maple trees. This week we planted 17 fruit, 3 nut, and 10 Christmas trees throughout our home property. This adds to the 8 apple trees we planted in 2017/2018 and the 8-10 mature apple trees we’ve found in the yard and woods. In the past we’ve made our own apple cider and are looking forward to making larger quantities in the coming years. The deer will love the additional food sources too, each apple species fruits at a different time of year. We use Milorganite, an organic fertilizer with a scent repulsive to deer, Irish Spring soap (more scent), and a wire cage to keep wildlife away while the trees take off.
Over the weekend we had the pleasure of hosting a local girl scout troop for a tour of our maple farm. They enjoyed seeing the animals (Nova acted as my co-guide) and learning about the process of how maple syrup is made, but I’m pretty sure their favourite part was tasting some of mother nature’s liquid gold!
Another good run yesterday and overnight, sap should keep flowing today too. We ran the RO while we slept so that we could have an early morning boil instead of our typical afternoon/evening ones that go way too late. In other news our new experimental road maples next door are running great. We use smaller diameter tubing that creates a natural vacuum, the weight of the sap in the downhill tubing pulls on the trees much like a siphon. It’s nothing like our other woods but it’s easy/cheap to setup and requires little maintenance during the season, plus the sap was 2.5% sugar due to all of the sunlight the trees receive in the summer! Thanks Bob/Cody/Craig!
What an amazing five days to really kick off the season! We made almost 2000 gallons of syrup this week and had three different record breaking days (525 and 665 gallons of syrup made, 25,000 gallons of sap hauled). During this period one of our Busch vacuum pumps sucked sap, seized up, and had to rebuilt at 4AM. One of our pumphouse doors was inadvertently left open during the previous cold spell leaving ~150 gallons of ice that had to be removed manually before collecting new sap. A separate Busch pump also had to be exchanged right before the run due to a worn bearing and gearbox seal leak, but the replacement purred and maintained 95% of its rated vacuum level all week. Today is a well earned day off before next weeks runs, tonight’s freeze should re-energize more sap flow!
What a day we had yesterday, we made 525 gallons of syrup! We had to call it quits with 15,000 gallons of unprocessed sap left, we were just too exhausted to haul, concentrate, and boil another 250 gallons worth of syrup. Fortunately it froze overnight and the sap won’t run much today, giving us a breather to catchup since Wednesday/Thursday/Friday should bring in even more sap!
Abjuration Brewing, a nano-brewery in the Pittsburgh, PA area, has just announced a new beer that they used our maple syrup to brew! It’s a maple bacon imperial stout, measuring at 11% abv. Check out their facebook page to learn more!