Monday, January 25, 2016


We are tapping!! We survived the snow apocalypse that turned out to be
nothing. The weather forecast was calling for up to 18 inches of snow.
Then it changed to 6-8 inches, then 1-4. The farm got less than three
inches total. People to the east of the farm weren’t as lucky. Most of
the east coast is completely covered right now. I live about 10 miles
from the farm and we got about 4 inches.

We had a smaller than normal tapping crew this year. We sent out three
teams on Saturday and two teams on Sunday. We have changed our tapping
equipment this year. We are using the battery powered DeWalt drills
instead of the large gas powered drills. The guys are so happy. The
new drills are extremely light weight compared to the gas powered
drills. They bought extra batteries and swapped the batteries out over
lunch. The tapping crews were all extremely happy with the new drills
and the drills and batteries are working great.

New drills

Old drills 

We aren’t completely finished tapping yet. We have finished the middle
hill of our sugarbush and we are almost finished with the back hill. I
think one more full day of tapping and we will be done. The weather
looks AMAZING for sap weather.

With two poor years in 2015 and 2014 due to the extreme weather
conditions, we are praying for a good year this year.

PERFECT sap weather!!! 

I worked around the farm house, made the guys lunch, and worked on a
few small projects. Jen and I went over our to-do list on Saturday and
we only have three pages of stuff left to do. I feel like we are doing
a great job this year getting all of our jobs finished. Most of the
things we have ordered for the store have arrived. I am going to print
price labels this evening and start working on pricing all of the
store items.

I’ll let everyone know how the sap runs this week. Keep your fingers
and toes crossed!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

January 20 Update

We had a very productive working weekend this past week. We are
preparing our woods for tapping within the next week to ten days.
Depending on the weather, we will either be tapping our trees this
weekend (the 23rd and 24th) or the following week and weekend (the
week of the 25th). Depending on which weatherman you watch, we could
get rain or up to 18 inches of snow this weekend. If it snows that
much, we might just pack up and go skiing. It is the time of year when
Robert (my husband) is glued to his phone and the weather stations,
watching the weather predictions. As of now, I think we ***SHOULD***
get 3-6 inches, but the forecasts look like the snow might stay South
of us. Keep your fingers crossed!!

Back to our weekend work progress. I actually helped work in the woods
on Saturday. I usually save all of the jobs close to the house for
myself, but the guys needed an extra set of hands to run some new main
line. The tubing system that runs from tree to tree is a small 5/16
inch flexible plastic tubing. The tubing system connects to a one inch
main line, which runs to holding tanks.  We had some pretty bad
flooding over the summer and some of the main line was either damaged
or destroyed by water.

We were working in the creek. We all bought really good waterproof
boots last year and I was thankful for them today. Great investment –
you really can’t put a price on nice dry feet.

I have also started ordering things for the Sugarstore at the
festival. Some of the items we aren’t capable of making ourselves so
we try to find local producers. The maple candy, maple sugar, maple
nut treats and clusters, shoups seasoning are all made locally in
Indiana. We are also working on a special mug for this year since this
will be the 25th festival.

We have sent out our vendor applications. I think we will have about
10 new vendors this year. Most are local, but we have a few coming
from the Ohio and Kentucky area. I’m hoping the weather holds out
better than last year. Other than our syrup production, I think the
vendors are hit the hardest when we have bad weather.

I’ll post more often when we start tapping and making syrup. Hard to
believe that we only have 37 days until the festival!!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Working Weekend

We had a busy working weekend at the farm. We took advantage of the nice weather and got a lot of outside work completed. 

Robert, Mason and Nic (Jen and I helped a little bit), split about about 22 ricks of wood in two days. We were a little behind on wood this year, so we had a load of seasoned log ends delivered (about 10 ricks once it was all split). We also had a few large trees which had toppled down over the summer which the guys cut up and split. 

I cleaned the music cabin,

Picked up sticks around the buildings,

And put a new coat of polyurethane on all of the building signs.  

The weather was awesome for this time of year. We had sunny weather in the low 40s. 

We plan on tapping in 2-3 weeks depending on the weather. Still lots of work to do before then! 

Jenny and I sent out vendor applications on Saturday and Jenny sent out staff emails today. If we missed anyone, please let us know!