Holy smokes! The snow just keeps coming and there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of sugaring temperatures coming in anytime soon. Like everyone else there’s been plenty of plowing and roof shoveling going on the last month and more tomorrow. Brian had to load his tractor up on a trailer and plow out a couple locations to make them accessible once the weather breaks.
Happy Veteran’s Day!
Our thanks to all who have served.
Brian is off this morning too cut greens for the first time. The Channel 9 weather said there had been some snow up in the Littleton area yesterday so hopefully it will have melted some and will be off the trees. It’s really hard to cut good boughs when you can see them for the snow. The wreath designs are coming along with my mom and I. There are festive Christmas themed wreaths of course, and wintery wreaths and we always have a following for our forest friends wreaths. It’s a very diverse group from glam to folk to just plain cute.
It’s so nice to have the weather we’ve been getting. Last year beside no snow the temperatures were frighteningly warm. We ate out on our deck 3 nights during mid-March last year. No worries there this year thankfully! So let us hope we have a few more visits from the northern jet stream to keep things cool and make a decent sugar season for all.
As an added offering tomorrow and Sunday we’ll have a fresh batch of our maple cones on sale. And we will once again have Maple Cupcakes from Chesters’ own E & D’s Cupcakery, LLC. The cupcakes come in a 4 pk for 9.00.
Hours for this weekend will be Saturday 12-4 pm. We may be boiling if the weather warms the trees up enough today for a run. We’ll see though. Sunday is up in the air since the weather is looking poor for Sunday. We’ve have made lots of Light Amber syrup for those of you who look for “first run“.
Hope everyone is getting ready for the snow on Sunday. During the last storm the snow was so fluffy we never had any trouble with power outages. But I doubt we’ll be so lucky this time with the heavy wet snow that’s predicted. Stay off the roads and stay safe.
This week Brian made his second trip for wreath greens to Whitefield NH. Many may not know that evergreens need a good hard frost to set the needles on their boughs which is why we don’t harvest greens earlier than November for our wreaths. The greens are kept cool and watered every so often so they don’t dry out. Because of this our wreaths tend to hold their needles very well and can last for months indoors and out. The only thing that hinders this is a south facing exposure in full sun.
Wreath assembly involves cutting boughs down into smaller pieces that can be grouped into small bunches. Once that is done, our double sided wreaths are assembled one bunch at a time by wrapping them with wire around a wreath ring. All in all it is a time consuming process but one that produces beautiful fresh, full wreaths. On average we will make 80 to 100 wreaths for the holiday season.
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. Oct. 21st we set off to Michigan for the annual North American Maple Producers Conference in Frankenmuth, Michigan. The trip out found us meeting a maple producer in Emlenton PA named Joe of Old State Farms. He is a great guy working for The Hardwood Mall in that town which is quite a place to see. Look them up online if you get a chance. But he showed us his new evaporator and a quick tour of the sugarhouse. But he also mentioned his pal Pat would be at the conference. So sure enough we met Pat and his wife of Frost Ridge Maple. Super folks to know and looking forward to seeing them again.
We also got to tour a sugarhouse, a wind farm, the Octagon Barn, visit the Henry Ford Museum and a sugar beet processing location. Sugar beets are in season for harvesting now and there are miles and miles of acres of sugar beets out there. Did you know 40% of our table sugar comes from sugar beets not just sugar cane? One thing I can tell you is that making maple sugar is much, much easier!!!
On another note I am proud to say the Brian took first place in one of the photo contests. The category was “Maple People on the Job” and the photo that won is the one on our home page; Brian’s self portrait of tapping. How cool is that! We are pretty tickled to say the least when you have entries from many of the 14 states and provinces to be judged against.
The week ahead is going to be all about wreaths. Looks like Wednesday Brian will head north for the first cut of balsam to start making wreaths. The next few weekend my Mom and I will plan the decorations and we’ll start assembly the weekend after Thanksgiving. We’ll be busy, busy, busy for sure.