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We are fortunate, we got permission to sugar an additional sugarbush this year

from a neighbor, Mrs B.  We had hoped to purchase a piece of woodland (I call it

"Potters") from a neighbor who's land we've been sugaring for a while.  In all

honesty, I messed that transaction up by holding firm on a detail that really didn't

matter that much.  I am disapointed.  But have found that the folks who did buy it,

are graciously allow me to continue sugaring.  So Mr A.  THANK YOU!  And Thank

You to Bob and Shauna, and to you Jim.  I appreciate you all!  My little Sugarhouse

would run at an "idle"  if it weren't for you.    We WILL run full throttle again this

year.  And with that, I would like to say..."Greetings from sugaring 2008.  We are

going to work hard, but we are going to have some fun."


January and February: 

Got permission to tap Mrs B's late in the summer 07'.  Starting new job and cant rework the tubing until early winter.  We got a nice break in the wx (snow not too deep) and was able to replace support cables and laterals, installed tree saver spouts on new drops.  Finished just in time to tap.  Broke my left shoulder skiing in the last few days of Feb.  Everything you see below was done with one wing.  Well....three wings actually.  My wife helped me tremendously.  (AS USUAL)

    4th                    Tapped Mrs B's- Sap's a Runnin!
    5th                    Still Tapping Mrs. B's.  Set tank in place. 
    6th                    Collected 100 gallons of sap and started tapping Potters and ours.
    7th                    Finished tapping Potters and set tank in place.  Sweetened up the pans and made 4.5 gallons.
    8th                    Collected a full tank of sap at the bottom of ours and potters.  Made 8.5 gallons.
    10th                  Tapped Jim and Sonjia's and hung buckets along Cross Road.
    13th                  Found some broken lines on "preflight" today.  (DEER)  It's been cold so trees have been shut down, but starting to run now.  Collected                                             130 gallons of sap.  Lots of ice.  Throwing out the ice.  (It's mostly water.) 
    14th                  Blueberry pancakes, sausage and OJ in the sugarhouse this morning.  Nice Day.  Made 4 gallons.
    15th                  Maggie made pancakes in the sugarhouse.  Zeb has been helping us boil this year.  We're all eating pancakes, making lots of steam and drinking
                            large amounts of syrup.  Many visitors today.  Me, my Dad and Gary: gathered sap this afternoon.  I enjoyed that. 
                            Note: I had put a blower on the firebox before the season.  It pumped too much air and kicked sparks and ash out around the firebox doors.  I                                     blocked off one air inlet today and toned down the flow.  No ash problems now.  Seems to give us a better boil.  We need more dry wood!
    16th                  Went to church. Cold today, but still had sap from last night.  Finished that up and visited with various freinds that came by.
    19th                  Ahhhh!! (darn)  It's been cold.  So the sap hasn't been running.  We've been plugging away at making some wood.  Sap ran today.  Collected 300
                            gallons in the evening and boiled half of it.  Canned 6 gallons of med. amber, almost fancy.  Pastor Pete and family came for supper.  Evaporator
                            is really working good today.
    20th                  Long Day:  Collected another 160 gallons and boiled all day.  Tammie and I canned 12 gallons.  Great day of sugaring, time for bed. 
    26th                  Started the day with 300 gallons to boil.  Had pancakes and sausage in the sugarhouse.  It was a long day. (8 am to 12 pm by the time the fire                                 was out and the floor squegied.) Nice Day, but I am tired.  Reminds me of my barrel stove days.  Except that we canned 14.5 gallons. 
    28th                  Collected another 300 gallons of sap.  Got the evaporator running and then went to the dentist.  I had to have a crown done on a molar today..                                     BUMMER!   I am starting to feel old.  WX man says snow supposed to come tonight.
    29th                 Sure enough...it snowed.  4 inches heavy wet snow.  Trees are shut down for the moment.  Ahhh. (Good thing)  Gathered another 300 gallons of
                           sap from last night.  Cleaned the front pan. And got the evaporator running at noon.  Finished with shutdown and cleanup at 11:30 pm.
    30th                 Boiled a little sap that we had left from yesterday.  Canned 10.5 gallons.  Canning unit foamed over onto the counter.  Darn...  Tammie and I ran
                           the wood splitter.  Kids are skiing today.
    1st                  60 + degrees today.  A banner day!!  We probably collected 500+ gallons of sap today.  We boiled hard all day.  Canned 15 gallons.
    2nd                 Perfect...turned cold last night, warmed up to 40 today.  We're boiling and splitting wood.
    3rd                 Well, today is the scheduled day for an operation on my shoulder.  It went well.  I am "out of it" but dont want to fall behind,  Boiled 250 gallons
                          today.  Canned 10 gallons.  I aaaaammmm iiiiiiinnnnn  ssssllllloooowww mmmoootttiiioonn.  Far Out Man! 
    4th                 Well,  what a night.   I am in a lot of pain.  I usually avoid the prescribed pain medication.  I am going to have to give in on this one.  They said
                          I'd be on the couch for a couple days.  My spirit will be...  My body and good right arm will be boiling.  Over 400 gallons today.  Don't be fooled,
                          Tammie is doing the real work.  Canned 13.75 gallons.  We are tired.
    5th                  Sap is slowing down.  Amen!  We've been making some very nice Grade B.  Boiled 300 gallons.  Greg helped split wood today.  Kids played. 
                           Nice day.
    7th                  Collected about 100 gallons.  Evaporator is roaring!  1300 degree stack temp.  Time is running short for sugaring.  Nice night in the sugarhouse.
                           Made a little B.  The kids are running around outside with homemade capes.  A couple of superheros.
    12th                Canned 11.5 of really nice Grade B.  Gave Zeb the 8% sap that was in the flue pan.  That would've made about 3 gallons if I'd finished it. 
    25th                As Jim says, "It's all done but the finishin'."  Sugaring would, from the lack of steam, "appear" to be over.  But I've got a good week of takedown
                          and cleanup ahead of me.
                          We boiled around 4,700 gallons of 2% sugar content sap.  I estimate we boiled 165 hours and burned 6 cords of wood, mostly Ash, some pine.
                          In the past we have calculated that each gallon of syrup uses 3 man hours to produce plus the value of the wood and other expenses.  Most
                          sugarers today are using Reverse Osmosis machines, which will remove a portion of the water before the sap goes to the evaporator.   The labor  
                          savings in wood and time spent boiling is significant.  Next year we will have an RO in place.  But for now, I still need to charge $100.00 per gallon.
                          Just Kidding!
In closing:  What a year.  Our best year yet.  Too much of a good thing though, at least for a guy in a sling.  It's hard work.  But what great work it is!  Wish it was my day job.  It is a sweet life we lead in my opinion.  Lord willing,  we'll do it again next year.   Meanwhile, thanks for checking us out and....Buy some syrup!
Justin Turco