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Thread: January Journal 2019

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Loudon NH
    Posts
    5,404

    Default January Journal 2019

    The new year is here along with the hopes of a good maple season. I have some tubing upgrades in the works but have dropped expansion plans. My long term goal used to be to upgrade everything before I retire, which is 4 1/2 years from now, to double my tap count. The plan now is to maintain what I've got and most likely sell out when I retire.

    My son and youngest daughter now live in NC and the desire to be near them and retire to some place warm made me rethink my plan. My daughter got married in September and her and her husband just bought a house. There is also talk of grandchildren in the future although that happy news hasn't happened yet.

    I'm not sure what I'll do when I move down there to keep busy but my son has a 1931 Model A Ford slant window that it's in need of enough restoration to get it back on the road. There is also the possibility of doing some extreme south tree tapping because they do have some maples and freeze thaw cycles in NC. The natives won't know what to think!

    Happy New Year!
    Russ

    "Red Roof Maples" Where the term "boiling soda" was first introduced to the maple producing world!

    Algier 2x6 evaporator, W F Mason arch
    Lapierre 250 Turbo RO machine
    SP-22 vacuum pump
    1930 Ford Model AA Doodlebug tractor
    1971 IH 454 52hp diesel tractor
    A couple of Honda 4 wheelers
    About a dozen chainsaws and no chickens

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    9,829

    Default

    Happy New Year to you too Russel.
    Back when I lost my long time help, when all 3 graduated college in the same year, my plans also changed. I sold off one of my 2 leases, initially cut from 1320 taps down to 650. Then my brother-in-law (BIL) came on board. We are both retired but we are hoping to get between 900-1000 taps this year. Yesterday my oldest son, a good friend of his, a 10 yr old grandson, my BIL and I worked changing drops in my one lease. That was the first time for the first 3 to help in the woods, with the exception of my oldest son who helped me run my first ever mainline, on gravity, back in 2004.
    All 4 of my kids are all quite local but 2 of the grandkids aren't. A granddaughter chooses to live in L.A. and a grandson chooses to live wherever the Navy chooses. He has 5 more years come next month if he doesn't decide to re-up.
    With the kids so local and the fact that both my wife and I can't take hot weather we will not be moving south. The AC bill runs too much now because we need to keep the t-stat set at 65 all summer and 63 all winter.
    I now hope to be able to keep doing maple into my early 80's, if the good lord allows. While my dad was not a syrup maker he did work in the woods most days until he was 86 or 87, cutting firewood for himself and my brother, both had outdoor wood boilers. My brother and I even bought him a hydraulic splitter but he preferred splitting with wedges and a maul.
    Happy New Year to all the Maple Traders and it would be great to finally have the world at peace. To all a great maple season!
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Merrill, Wi
    Posts
    344

    Default

    Happy New Year fellow traders, 2018 was definitely an experience. In chronological order...

    Finished tubing up our 1st 40 in -20 below weather. We lost Grandpa Feb 15th to cancer and started tapping the 16th. Went through an extreme learning curve from running a flat pan to a 3 membrane RO, vac pumps, and 4x16 evaporator. Survived syrup season with below average yields due to weather. Worked around the clock selling retail throughout the summer, lost my wife's grandma in July. Lost our dog in Sept to cancer. Worked tirelessly to drive sales through the fall into early winter selling all our syrup retail in our first year of large scale operation.

    2018 was full of ups and downs trials and tribulations but we came out alright growing our sales by 6x from 2017 to 2018 with goals to do the same in 2019. We're currently working on doubling the tap count and developing relationships to obtain contracts with big players to move more maple than I thought was possible.

    Hoping your 2019 is filled with family, friends and 1,000's of leaking maples.
    Maple Man 85
    Anthony & Rebecca Renken
    2017=200 taps
    2018=4000 taps (goal) 3000 taps (actual)
    2019=7000 taps (goal)
    30x45 Sugar House
    4x16 Leader Vortex
    www.northwoodsmaplefarm.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Covington, New York
    Posts
    1,537

    Default

    I decided to fix/reroute my pump-out line to the road today. The pipe did go around the right side of the locust tree, and I was getting pretty worried every time the wind blows like it was the other night. Can't believe it didn't come down, although it is leaning more, and the roots are higher out of the ground too. If the tree comes down on sap lines that is just a minor inconvenience, but if I can't pump out during a major run (and that's exactly when it would happen), that is bad. lol


    fixedline.jpg
    Noel Good
    1998 to 2009: 15 taps on buckets, scavenged fire pit and pans
    2010: New 2x4 SS flat pan w/preheater
    2015: New to me Lapierre 18x60 raised flue, new shack, new everything!! 59 taps 23.75 gallons made
    2016: 85 taps 19 gallons
    2017: Purchased 2.5 acres and tubed half with 3/16. 145 taps total 49.25 gallons made
    2018: 200 taps (162 on 3/16ths 38 on buckets) New NextGen RO 63 gallons made
    2019: 210 taps 73.5 gallons made
    www.wnybass.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    9,829

    Default

    If you decide to cut that tree, be very careful. It is a recipe for a barber chair. If you do decide, start with a slightly smaller face cut, then do a plunge cut to leave the hinge defined, the from the plunge cut, cut out to the back. that way the tree might hold on until you exit the back. be ready to get out of the way as soon as anything starts to move and if necessary, leave the saw. A saw can be replaced if needed, you can't. Might be a good place to ask a friend with more tree felling experience to help.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Covington, New York
    Posts
    1,537

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    If you decide to cut that tree, be very careful. It is a recipe for a barber chair. If you do decide, start with a slightly smaller face cut, then do a plunge cut to leave the hinge defined, the from the plunge cut, cut out to the back. that way the tree might hold on until you exit the back. be ready to get out of the way as soon as anything starts to move and if necessary, leave the saw. A saw can be replaced if needed, you can't. Might be a good place to ask a friend with more tree felling experience to help.
    Thanks for the advice. Now that there isn't a cable semi-helping holding it up, I am hoping the next good wind storm will take it down. I'll give it a year or two before trying to get it down, the top is also being held up by nearby maples. In my younger years I would have cut it without even thinking about it. Now, I don't even drop a 10 inch tree without someone else around. And if it's big enough (like this one) I do have somebody else with more experience to do it.
    Noel Good
    1998 to 2009: 15 taps on buckets, scavenged fire pit and pans
    2010: New 2x4 SS flat pan w/preheater
    2015: New to me Lapierre 18x60 raised flue, new shack, new everything!! 59 taps 23.75 gallons made
    2016: 85 taps 19 gallons
    2017: Purchased 2.5 acres and tubed half with 3/16. 145 taps total 49.25 gallons made
    2018: 200 taps (162 on 3/16ths 38 on buckets) New NextGen RO 63 gallons made
    2019: 210 taps 73.5 gallons made
    www.wnybass.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    505

    Default

    I'm jealous of you guys working on your lines with no snow on the ground. I thought last year was bad. This year snowshoeing started mid-November

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    9,829

    Default

    We worked in our woods last Saturday and we only had 1" of snow. It sure was nice, however barkless limbs under the snow are extremely slippery when stepped on.
    Not needing snowshoes is a huge plus. I remember one year I had big problems climbing steep hills with 3+' of snow on the ground. On the flat or gentle slopes, not too bad, up steep slopes (45-50%) were very difficult indeed. However the bush does better with a blanket of snow.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Elliottsburg, PA
    Posts
    2,228

    Default

    Been really busy of late trying to get everything ready for the coming season.
    Sap tank is placed, vac pump is set and hooked up. Did all the major work on the lines, just need to do leak check.

    Sugarhouse is cleaned and ready for the Dept of Ag to do its inspection.

    Now just waiting for the weather to cooperate. We have not had any cold spell yet! 1 may be 2 days that the day time temps never got above freezing but mostly it has been in the 40's or higher!
    What if I never get a cold spell? Will I have a season?
    In the ten years that I have been doing this this is the 1st year where we had no freeze up yet. I am hoping for a few weeks in Jan to get cold.
    As of right now not really worrying about anything, I guess I could not change anything anyway so why worry right?
    1st Generation Hobby Maple Producer, you got to start somewhere.
    222 Taps, all on Vacuum! No more buckets.
    Lapierre 2'x5' raised flue w/Hood and Preheater
    Surge SP11, Lapierre Hobby Releaser
    Modified 5" Filter Press made by Daryl with a Gear Pump
    Homemade 2 membrane RO
    Kabota RTV Sap Hauler

    Hardy's Maple Syrup on Facebook

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Loudon NH
    Posts
    5,404

    Default

    I was able to spend another day in the woods today. I'm replacing a 700' mainline and I got most of it done. I've still got to put on more wire ties, drill in the manifolds and connect the laterals to finish it. I hope that we don't get to much now between now and next Sunday when I'll be able to work on it again.
    Russ

    "Red Roof Maples" Where the term "boiling soda" was first introduced to the maple producing world!

    Algier 2x6 evaporator, W F Mason arch
    Lapierre 250 Turbo RO machine
    SP-22 vacuum pump
    1930 Ford Model AA Doodlebug tractor
    1971 IH 454 52hp diesel tractor
    A couple of Honda 4 wheelers
    About a dozen chainsaws and no chickens

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