Here is a quick update on the status of sugar season.

WEATHER:
March 15: Frozen.
March 16: Frozen.
March 17: High 46 and sunny. Overnight low 34.
March 18: High 40 and drizzly. Overnight low in the teens.
March 19: Frozen. Sharp wind.
March 20: High mid 40’s and sunny. Low tonight will probably be in the 20’s.

Forecast for the 21st and beyond: Highs up to 60 with a chance of a freezing night or two.

There is enough snow left to make 10,341 maple snow cones.

HOW’S IT RUNNING? During the mid-week warm spell the sap ran for 30 hours. It was another plodding pilgrim run of crystal clear sap.

Today’s run got going mid-afternoon. At 10pm posting it’s running (it’s a trooper run) but not gushing. We hope it freezes hard tonight which will choke off the run and trigger a stronger run tomorrow.

BOILING STATUS: Thursday was Day Five and the most productive day so far.

SAP SWEETNESS: 1.8%. The sugar content has crept up day by day but is still below average.

REGIONAL NEWS: Sugarmakers in New England and even in Ohio have commented on this year’s weak sap. No one has made much syrup yet.

PROBLEM SOLVING Du Jour:


Every boiling day the crew rinses out several syrup drums to fill with hot syrup. At the bottom of this drum lay a rogue wood chip. It would not rinse out.
Chief of Operations had an idea. He retreated to his shop and returned with the device you see here: a wooden stick taped to an automotive tool designed to grip small units. It takes another wooden stick to depress the orange spring once this tool has been lowered into the drum. (Patent application being prepared by legal counsel for Neb Knoll.)

The four claws nipped the piece of bark. It’s creepy to watch the claws emerge from the coil when you operate the tool. They resemble the legs of a giant, hungry tick.

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