Morning conversation overheard in the Nebraska Knoll office.

[Chief of Operations has just hung up from a phone interview with a reporter at the local newspaper.]

Last week’s small run of sap froze solid in the tanks. Here is Cy, our new crew member, de-icing. He has no comment on the season.

“I’m surprised to hear you say it’s going to be a good season,” says the office manager, a woman in a sweatshirt who stands hunched over a desk strewn with crumpled receipts for doughnuts, pickles, and craft sticks used for sugar-on-snow.

“I didn’t say it was going to be a good season, I said it LOOKS like it’s going to be a good season.”

“Why are you so optimistic?” she asks, sounding annoyed. “That’s not like sugarmakers.”

“Don’t forget, I can’t wear a baseball cap, I look ridiculous. The guys who wear baseball caps, they’re the guys who’ll tell you to wait until May.”

“Well, I think it’s bad luck to predict the season. at least out loud. And how can you say the season is a repeat of last year?” [2017 was a good but not great year.] “So far, maybe, but you never know.”

“I’m enjoying being optimistic for a change,” says Chief of Operations, who bounces out of the room singing Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain.

Atop the clothesline


WEATHER:  A freezing night, a sunny day in the 40’s with a slight NW wind: storybook.

Ross and Ana stir Indian sugar the day before Open House, which was a flaming success due to sunny days and having enough sap to boil. I bought 700 craft sticks  and ran out.

HOW’S IT RUNNING? Like it means business, as it should in the late March sun.

BOILING STATUS: Intermission is finally over. We boiled both Saturday and Sunday (Vermont Maple Open House Weekend) to everyone’s delight. We’ll fire up the arch any minute now for today’s boil.

SEVEN-DAY NITER PRIMER, Day Three: Technically, niter is malate of lime. It is not toxic but it could give you the runs. Some people prefer their syrup with the niter in it. They’ll catch the syrup in their cups as it pours off the evaporator and drink it straight up.



If you refer to the Sugarbush Map on the blog header, you will note The Foreman along the upper left-of-center border. The Foreman supervises the trees in populous Penn Station.
Painting by Ana Lucia Fernandez




2 thoughts on “Intermission is Over

  1. Glad the open house was such a success. I’ve been holding my breath (not literally) that you are going to have a great season.


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