Is it winter or is it spring?

This weekend was quiet at the farmstore with many people either on vacation, sick or attending many sport events.  It's also fairly typical of a February weekend out here in the boonies.

The store is being re-organized to make a separate space for our maple syrup finishing and area to sit and relax.  We also have added a corner spot as you enter that has most of our media articles about the farm so visitors can read up a bit about our history, recipe cards, cookbooks, soaps, popcorn and area for 2018 syrups.  I'm always lax about getting printed articles put into frames but did a bunch over the weekend.  Last year we had 2 videos shot here, more on those later.  

Sap Season is likely starting.  It's frigid this morning but the sun is out and the next few days we will have temps from 40 up into the 60's.   I may need to get out the shorts for working in the sugar shack!   Sap was dripping last night.   So how and when does sap run?   Ideally we need the sun to be out and temperatures to regularly above freezing.  In simpletst terms, this tells the trees it's spring and to start sending sap up the tree to the branches to feed the growth of leaves.  

1 year ago today the sap was running here on the farm and we were collecting sap.   So right on time. 

Saturday and Sunday Matt and Cam finished up running hundreds of feet of sap line and tapped 115 trees on our hillside.   We also have about 60 next door, so we will be making a lot more syrup this year.   Good thing because we only have 1 quart left from last year!   

Sap Season usually has it's starts and stops.  We can have some for a few days and then temperatures will drop below freezing and things will halt.   A few days or even weeks later it will start up again.    Generally once trees are tapped we have 6 weeks that the holes stay open and allow sap collection.  Anything after that the tree will grow and close the hole, if we want  collect after that it means retapping the hole which we can do in a few hours all our trees.  We haven't done this yet in the 4 years we've done syrup.