“How did the season end up?” asked Barb the bookkeeper.
“I hope the season finished strong,” wrote a friend from the West.
“What sort of year was it?” asked Patty when she placed a phone order.
“Did you have a good season?” asked Wendy at Mac’s Market.
“Yuh, it did.”
“Yuh, we did.”
It reminds me of returning home from a trip.
Someone always asks, “How was your trip?”
“It was good.”
Or, “Did you have a good trip?”
In most cases, that’s all anyone wants to hear. I savour the trip’s moments by myself or with others who were with me.
I’ll savour the moment during cleanup when the vacuum pump didn’t drone for once because Larry and Chops chose not to rinse tubing in the cold rain, and I, alone in the empty evaporator room, organizing tools, put on a CD of sea shanties whose strong lyrics propelled me into a canyon of melancholy rendered more gloomy by the dark day and my knowing that the boiling scene of 2022 – theatre of comaraderie, crises, chore choreography, April Fools foolery, tedium, fatigue, and maple aroma – was the trip I’d just come home from and couldn’t possibly describe to anyone who wasn’t there, even if they were truly interested.
But, since you asked, I will add that up and down and across Vermont, maple producers are pleased, very pleased, with their yields. (Recall that the 2021 crop was low; it followed a bumper crop in 2020.) Most everyone harvested a full crop or more of maple syrup. For some, there was a bumper crop. At Nebraska Knoll, Chief of Operations calculates the crop as the average of annual yields going back to the year more than a decade ago when we completed setup of tubing on state land and accompanying new infrastructure, taking into account yearly adjustments in tap totals.
The angst of climate change needles everyone. For those wanting to read more, here is an article discussing some of the knowns and unknowns.
The sap moon is past, yet I reprint this painting of Ana’s for its reminder of the depths hidden below, of the love we each have for the earth, of a vision of wholeness, of those who walked here with a slower gait, and for its evocation of the spirit of bounty.
P.S. Rats, I had hoped to include a video of the bear Larry observed on the upper Herbie lines. I may yet solve the technical issue. AC
P.P.S. How was your season? Fleuettes? Ben? Jake? Others?
6 thoughts on “How was your season?”
Ok—10 minutes is the max I’ll spend on trying to recall password snd account info. Grr. Loved the post! B
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Thanks, B. My daffodils still haven’t bloomed… A.
I have every Stan Rogers CD. Make me smile to a kindred soul r
That’s grand. I hope to continue the conversation in the near future. AC
Our season was long. We last boiled on 4/23, after beginning to collect sap in February. Given a Franklin County period to collect, we produced a Franklin County volume of syrup. It always felt civilized however – there was never frantically not keeping up with sap, and there were always days off when sleep loss became dire. We finally pulled the plug when a 50 degree sunny day following a 24 degree night failed to produce much more than a quart of sap per tap. It just wasn’t worth keeping the place going for so little production, even though our flavor was late season rather than buddy.
The real mood of this season was society, I haven’t boiled in such a social sugarhouse since being at your place, with folks dropping by even on days off. I suspect that the newness of a water fired evaporator will be gone next year, and it will just be Jennie and I quietly boiling in our little hollow past the end of the rd, but who can tell what the future holds?
I like “Given a Franklin County period to collect, we produced a Franklin County volume of syrup.” And I like knowing that folks found their way to your “little hollow past the end of the road.”
Congratulations, and Carry On!