The 2010 Maple Syrup Season Report to a Friend

by Tig Tillinghast

Ian, I’m sorry to hear that your maple syrup season looks to be about as poor as ours.

On 2356 taps, we’ve made 391 gallons of maple syrup so far. If the season stalls and stops (weather predictions are discouraging) this is pretty bad. We have this much largely due to our vacuum system. Locals without vacuum are seeing much worse performance. Take away the sap we get when the neighbors trees aren’t running, and we’d have only half this much maple syrup.

Also our home bush above our house has produced only 20 gallons of maple syrup (500 trees). And it DOES have vacuum. Is south and east facing, low and a very early bush. Tapped it on March 3 and it produced milky sap before we could even hammer in the spiles.

Our new 806 taps on a north-facing hill have performed well with our old 1050 taps on the east face of same hill doing only about as well as yourn.

Grade is very high, making the maple syrup flavor more subtle. We’re just now producing the good stuff, with dark amber and grade b maple syrups.

Moved the boiling operation to our strafford bush. Much more space, added another used r.o. Using oil to fire which is handy but just not the same.

Crew having fun. Life’s (and science’s) problems just about solved during maple syrup boiling discussions. Sure utopia would be reached it the season got cold and allowed us to continue for another two or three weeks.

If you southerners finish up early, come on up and commiserate. But don’t pull those taps yet. Our best hope, again, remains that our weathermen are mostly wrong.

Good luck, -Tig
Thetford Center