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Month: January 2009

How to Not Burn Down Your Sugar Shack

It was getting to be a bit late in the night on one of those looooong boils last year. Several of us started sniffing the air. Was that something burning? Sometimes a car goes by burning a break pad, skidding around our nasty curve on Tucker Hill Road. It was easy to dismiss the first […]

The Little House in the Sugar Shack

Yesterday I wrote about the construction Robert and Mike did with the tearing out of the wood that’ll be sitting near the newly enlarged stack hole at the top of the sugar house. This morning I happened to be out there while we were plowing the adjacent farm yard area, so I took this shot […]

Mysterious Maple Syrup Smell in New York City

It’s certainly not news to find strange smells in New York City, but this one caught my attention. Over the past couple of years, people have been noticing a “maple syrup smell” wafting through Manhattan and boroughs east of it. It’s become a bit of a running joke among the hipster blog sites infesting the […]

Maple Syrup Advertising Pitfalls

It’s the stuff of maple syrup marketer nightmares: your ad appears on a site juxtaposed against content that puts your product in the worst possible light. When airlines sign ad contracts with TV networks, they have provisions for the ads to be pulled during news cycles covering plane crashes. But, no matter how much care […]

Bricking Up the Arch with Friends

We bricked up the “new” old arch in the sugarhouse. The maple syrup crew reconvened in the sugarhouse during exceptionally cold weather (otherwise we’d have been out in the bush putting up maple lines) and worked inside. We patched up the big holes in the windows – with quaint and scenic duct tape – and […]

Saying Goodbye to the Old Evaporator

It was my first evaporator, bought after I failed to find a used 2 x 6. That’s an arch with pans totaling two feet wide by six feet long. The salesperson down in Alstead told me he wasn’t surprised I couldn’t find a pre-owned one. He said there were a lot more beginner sugarers out […]

One Step Backward

I arrived at the sugar bush this afternoon, planning on putting up a roll or two of lateral line before the snow got too deep to wade through. By the time I got to the sugar shack, though, I could see that the last ice storm’s damage included some downed branches that had taken out […]

Critters in the Maple Woods

We wind up working in the woods all year round to husband the maples – and as importantly, the other trees and understory species that make for a diverse habitat. This diversity makes our maples much less prone to insect and disease damage. Anyhow, while fiddling in the sugar bush, we come across all sorts […]

2008 Ice Storm Coats Sugar Maple Bush

We got off easy, but I hear folks down south didn’t fare so well. This picture (below) shows the rime of ice covering all the twigs and branches of the lower part of our sugar maple forest in Strafford, Vermont in December 08. This picture is at about 800 feet of elevation. We got lucky […]

Bringing Home the “New” Maple Syrup Evaporator

Today the guys and I went out to Enfield, NH to haul back an old 3′ by 10′ evaporator to replace our tiny 2′ by 5.5′ unit that served us the past couple few years. While the little unit should have been enough for what we were doing, it turned out to be less efficient […]


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