March 11

March 12, 2010

WEATHER: Low last night 25, high today low 40’s, overcast. So far, no freezing days during March – unheard of. The sap ran well midday, then slowed down.


SYRUP STATUS: ca. 1500 gallons by the end of tonight’s boil, all Fancy

A TOUR OF THE SUGARBUSH, continued: From Dome Road you turn left and walk below the porcupine cliff to pick up MARESAN Main Line. Maresan is named for our neighbors from the late 1970’s, Mary and Suzanne, whose homes were tucked under the steep side of our knoll. We used to run lines into a tank at each of their houses and pick up the sap daily with our 1964 International truck, Old Blue.

The MARESAN soils are deeper than in other areas, and the trees really thrive here. Notice the Palace Guard, a grand old tree near the top.

DRAWING OFF SYRUP: Every sugarmaker has his or her own method. We finish off the syrup in the front pan. By reading the bubbles and testing the density with a hydrometer we know when to draw it off into a pail. Each pail of hot syrup must be standardized to make sure the density is exactly right. A perfect draw is a pail that is just right without any fiddling. Like a hole-in-one on the golf course, it is worth bragging about, even though luck plays a part.

SUGARHOUSE FOOD: California navel oranges to cut the sweet that saturates our pores.


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