The sugaring season is off to a slow start

As we indicated in our Spring newsletter, it's been a cold spring and this has had an impact on the sugaring season (as we call it in Vermont.)  In order to gather the sap to make maple syrup, you need a particular type of weather -- chiefly warm sunny* days with nights below freezing -- and this kind of weather is typical in Vermont from early March through mid-April (roughly.)

* For certain values of "warm"; after a Vermont winter, a sunny day that reaches the mid-forties is considered "warm".  And the "sunny" part is important, too: it's how the maple tree absorbs the heat.

But not this year; in March thus far (according to North Westminster (approximate location of our main sugarbush) we've seen only six days that reached 40⁰ F, and the only mainly-sunny day just made it to 28!

Thus the picture below, taken yesterday at Fraser's sugarhouse.  As each 33-gallon barrel of syrup is completed, Fraser fills one of these small bottles from it before sealing it.  The bottle is then numbered, marked with the date and placed on the shelf in sequence.  Typically, by this time in the season, at least the first three rows of shelves would be filled; instead, Fraser had (as of Saturday afternoon) 51 barrels filled...a bit less than 2,000 gallons (and he made over 9,000 gallons last year.)

The optimistic scenario is that April will mimic what March was supposed to be; the nightmare scenario is that the weather will shortly change over to warm days and above freezing nights.  Keep your fingers crossed...


There are no comments yet, why not be the first