Cleaning up the ice storm, getting ready for maple season 2009

This is the time of year that Joe shifts gears from construction and spends more time in the sugar bush setting up lines, cleaning up tree debris, fixing damage from little critters, and doing all the things that get us in good shape for February tapping.

This year he’s got his hands full. That nasty ice-storm two weeks before the holiday season not only messed up our holiday sales (bah humbug) it also put a damper on season preparations. We had major clean-up from down trees–and still have lots more to go.

Below is a video of what we woke up to the next morning.

The night of the ice storm sounded like a war zone. From 1:00 a.m. until dawn, we were kept awake and on our toes with the popping, cracking, and busting of trees as tops snapped. In some cases, whole trees toppled. Joe had to chain saw our way out of the driveway.

We were lucky. Our house was spared and with the generator and wood stove we kept warm, out of the dark, and could take a hot shower. Best of all, we could flush the toilet (Alleluliah!). Some people had power outages up until Christmas.

One never knows what Mother Nature will provide. And that’s the same story for maple syrup production. People always ask us how we think the season will be (in fact, we just had the question today at the post office). No way to tell, we always answer. Joe likes to say that as soon as he thinks he’s got the season figured out, Mother Nature shows us otherwise.

Our plan is to finish clean-up, add vacuum to the 150 taps around the house, and start tapping in February when the weather is just right (when the trees are not frozen).

We’ll keep you posted on how our 2009 maple syrup season unfolds. 

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