April 2

April 2, 2010

 

WEATHER: Paralyzingly hot.

THE CROP IS IN. Syrup is the first agricultural crop of the year.

SOME DATA:  87% of the crop was made by March 19.

In 1988 we also finished up on April 1. In 2000 the last day was March 23.

March 26 was the only frozen day in March – this is new, and newsworthy.

PHASE I: Tapping, Feb. 16-25

PHASE II: Boiling, Feb. 28-April 1

PHASE III: Cleanup, April 1- ?  There is no resting until all the taps have been knocked out of the trees and rinsed. With all this hot weather it is especially imperative that we finish this task quickly.

Cleanup began yesterday evening when Lew hiked into the sugarbush to set up the water stations with sections of plastic pipe. The station near the Podium uses a spring; the two stations over on Morningside plug into a small brook.

We carry backpack fruit sprayers that hold four gallons each and walk up one line and down the next. At each tree we pull out the spout with a special tool,  fit the nozzle of the sprayer over the spout and give it a little squirt. Then we twist the spout onto its fitting where it stays until next February. 

This tubing cleanup is good work. It offers an opportunity to thank  each tree and to wish it well for the summer. And the woods feel alive and hopeful.

MACRO and MICRO: Peepers.

NEWS FROM THE VILLAGE: A 93 year-old friend exclaims over goldfinches drinking from a melting icicle.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “The horses are looking a little rough.”  (so said a Hinesburg farmer and sugarmaker at the tail end of sugar season. When I worked for him in the ’70’s  he gathered the sap buckets with his team of horses pulling a sled.)

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