We are currently in the Sugar Shack boiling away drawing off some syrup. These are some picture from earlier today. We are still very backed up with the amount of sap we have to go though so we are burning all of Mike’s good wood while he is at work.
Well yesterday was a good boiling day. We had some workers out at the camp again to give us a hand with fire wood. Fire wood has been the story all year, not enough wood to keep the fire going. We have always been playing catch up, finding wood when it is light and burning it when it is dark. I don’t know what Bill is going to do when he burns all the stuff that he has at camp. There is little to no accessible dead standing in his bush anymore so I guess it is up to the weather to get rid of the snow. The lack of wood is not really Bill’s fault as he was injured when he was suppose to be stockpiling for this season.
As for sap there is a ton of it. I thought I was going to completely miss the season turns out it is going to be running for a few more weeks to come, at least that is what the word is. Everyone is still making light and some medium, yesterday’s boil was no different.
I was able to take a tour of a few other operations on the Island, one was Stadnick’s and the other was Chess Wallace’s. Chess is one of the old timers who has seen it all, It was quite amazing to check out the old operation. He is running a diesel powered steam boiler. The steam is heated up and pumped though tubes at 100 psi these tubes than go into a the boiling pan to heat the sap. His vacuum system runs at about 20-25 psi which is much higher than Bill’s bush(13-15). He also has a reverse osmosis machine that gets the sugar content up to about 10% which makes boiling off a lot easier. It is a really slick looking operation.
Today I spend most of the day helping out at the maple syrup festival at the legion hall. My mother is one of the board members at the Children’s Library so she was selling all sorts of things for fundraising. That place was insanely busy, line ups out the door.
I am going to be heading out to the sugar bush for the last time this season in the afternoon. I am really going to miss it here but I will be back next year. This is going to be the last post that I have to deal with this stupid dial up internet but it is also going to be the last one from the island. I can’t wait until next year.
I am so tired! Well It would be hard to tell all the things that have happened to me over the past, I don’t know, many hours.
The flight back was fine, they said it was going to be bad and it was not, good surprise Air Canada. Also the baby next to me did not cry a bit, Good deal.
So after doing all sorts of chores in the Sault I went out to the sugar bush to meet up with Bill, he has made some amazing improvements.
He put in this system that I am going to have to go into greater detail about later. I will just say that he was able to replace his whole vacuum tank system and it’s one of the simplest most amazing devices that I have ever seen.
We put up some main line today which gave us another 50-60 taps that would have just ran onto the ground. So far there is about 1450 taps, we are shooting for 2000. We also made about 60L of syrup today. I think the big run is still to come. The biggest Problem today was fire wood, or the lack there of. Because of the downturn in the market no one here is logging. No logging means the people who move logs and get paid in fire wood are not getting paid in fire wood. No one around here would be doing firewood for homes at this time because it is the end of winter. Well without getting into more detail about the economics of firewood it is easier to say that there is no fire wood and we have no time to cut anymore.
Here are some stills from a video that I shot today cutting a huge block in half because of the urgency in getting enough fire wood. I will post the video later but I have to get to bed, todays shift was for 6:30am – 10:30pm and there is another one tomorrow.
I love this! One hell of a first day.
Folllow me on Twitter when I get high enough on the island to tweet.