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Thread: Looking into our future sugar season

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    983

    Default Looking into our future sugar season

    I was wondering if anyone is preparing differently with all the Covid-19 news and fears? I was concerned that looming restrictions may affect material supplies from suppliers. I ordered everything I could think of last week and it's all been delivered. It was a big expense I usually spread out, but I now have everything in hand and I can shelter-in-place and make syrup here on the farm. The wife is retiring 12/1 so we'll both be able to work in the shack. I just hope my markets are still there come spring and summer.

    Since I'm not doing anything else I stated prepping the shack and making up drops today. I put a new vinyl floor down in my filtering area and I installed a new head tank I bought this summer. I am getting a metal to replace the back of my arch tomorrow and installing a new flue collar for my stove pipe. I made up a few drops today and will make a few whenever I am bored. Upping my taps to 150 this year, I sold out this fall and got two nice orders for next year, so with an extra hand in the shack I'm doing more.
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,586

    Default

    With Covid, my sales are ahead of all previous years. I sold more on my website and lots more at my one retail outlet. By Aug 1, I had surpassed LY sales, in fact I had passed all previous years. With Covid, more people are eating at home and maple syrup is on their menu.
    I by no means want Covid to stay, but I just don't see it going anyplace until summer/fall 2021. Hopefully the vaccines announced recently turn this arond sooner. However, lots of jobs will remain at home and many will not have jobs because of the businesses that failed because they couldn't survive the shut downs.
    I fear we may be headed toward the biggest depression ever, worse than the 1930's. Our government printed way too much new money to help those on unemployment, it may take 10 or more years to recover from that.
    Correction, there was one exception, back in 2008 I had a better year. That year I had 3 newspaper articles about my operation. The first was just quotes from several maple producers locally, I was just one of them. Then 2 days later there was a 3 page spread, just about my operation, lots of pictures and a long interview. Then 9 days later (and it turned out to be the Sunday before the first weekend of our Maple Weekend) I was featured in the local magazine section, front page and 3 more pages inside. The crowd we had all 4 days of Maple Weekend (2 weekends in a row) was huge. We can only get about 15-20 people safely into my sugarhouse. From 9:30 in the morning until 5-5:30 in the evening we had a full sugarhouse and lines of 30-60 outside waiting outside for their turn on all 4 days all day long. To say the least, we sold out of product by the 2nd Sunday and took names to contact them when we had made more syrup. Only about 1/3 returned to pick up syrup when called.
    The power of free advertising!
    That was the only time we sold more than this year be August. By the end of 2008, our year total was not as much as this year looks like it will be if this season is half as good as last year for Christmas sales.
    Last edited by maple flats; 11-22-2020 at 10:09 AM. Reason: remembered 2008 experience
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Will hold about the same for 2021
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    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
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Weston, CT
    Posts
    184

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    With Covid, my sales are ahead of all previous years. I sold more on my website and lots more at my one retail outlet. By Aug 1, I had surpassed LY sales, in fact I had passed all previous years. With Covid, more people are eating at home and maple syrup is on their menu.
    I by no means want Covid to stay, but I just don't see it going anyplace until summer/fall 2021. Hopefully the vaccines announced recently turn this arond sooner. However, lots of jobs will remain at home and many will not have jobs because of the businesses that failed because they couldn't survive the shut downs.
    I fear we may be headed toward the biggest depression ever, worse than the 1930's. Our government printed way too much new money to help those on unemployment, it may take 10 or more years to recover from that.

    Those jobs that remain at home will become less productive unless they are "real jobs" like sugar making, where something of substance is produced rather then BS. These new "work from home" jobs will be tantamount to "early retirement". I.E. sit around and get paid to do nothing. Then "retire" in a few years and in many cases get paid a little less to do absolutely nothing. Our economy is going to need that like a hole in the sugar pan.

    Eventually the fecal matter will hit the fan.

    With that said people are consuming more maple syrup along with other foods this year like none other.

    Not sure how long it is gong to last.
    If you think it's easy to make good money in maple syrup .... then your obviously good at stealing somebody's Maple Syrup.

    Favorite Tree: Sugar Maple
    Most Hated Animal: Sap Sucker
    Most Loved Animal: Devon Rex Cat
    Favorite Kingpin: Bruce Bascom
    40 Sugar Maple Taps ... 23 in CT and 17 in NY .... 29 on gravity tubing and 11 on 5G buckets ... 2019 Totals 508 gallons of sap, 7 boils, 11.4 gallons of syrup.
    1 Girlfriend that gives away all my syrup to her friends.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Garrettsville,Ohio
    Posts
    458

    Default

    its a good move we are having a hard time getting material in. and worse by the month. containers period are getting scarce. if someone would like to start a packaging business now is the time.
    Fred Ahrens
    330-206-1606
    Richards Maple Products
    Ohio CDL sales rep
    1500 taps

    dont take life too serious, nobody gets out alive anyways

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Granville, PA
    Posts
    313

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fred View Post
    its a good move we are having a hard time getting material in. and worse by the month. containers period are getting scarce. if someone would like to start a packaging business now is the time.
    My glass bottle supplier is telling me that the manufacturers aren't even giving eta's at this point. The manufacturing companies don't know how many people are going to come to work so they can't predict shipments.

    Does anyone know what glass company makes the glass maple syrup bottles that are "Made in USA"?
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Garrettsville,Ohio
    Posts
    458

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by minehart gap View Post
    Does anyone know what glass company makes the glass maple syrup bottles that are "Made in USA"?

    too many to list. but all have the same problem. one type of jar/bottle runs out so all facets of the food industry are changing style/type weekly based on what they can fill.
    Fred Ahrens
    330-206-1606
    Richards Maple Products
    Ohio CDL sales rep
    1500 taps

    dont take life too serious, nobody gets out alive anyways

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Granville, PA
    Posts
    313

    Default

    Fred, I'm not looking for a distributor, I'm interested in who the manufacturing company is. I noticed that some of the bottles are made in the USA and that interested me. I rely on costumers buying local and try to do the same.
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Garrettsville,Ohio
    Posts
    458

    Default

    i understand that. many are made in ohio, but i cant buy direct by the truck load. you wont be able either. contact your local distributor and request usa made. see if you get somewhere. im told its going to be a problem for at least 18 months if this all ended yesterday.
    Fred Ahrens
    330-206-1606
    Richards Maple Products
    Ohio CDL sales rep
    1500 taps

    dont take life too serious, nobody gets out alive anyways

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Greenwood, Maine
    Posts
    430

    Default

    In Maine getting bottles from CDL is no problem. Went over Tuesday and picked up all I need for the season and they said there was no problem getting what they wanted, but been telling people to buy early just in case.
    Brian
    Velvet Hollow Sugarworks
    Greenwood, Maine
    700 taps
    CDL 2X6, leader RO

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