Archive for April, 2009

sap-mastersThe 2009 Massachusetts maple syrup season is over too soon for Joe and I. Our crop this year was down 20%, mostly because the temperature did not fluctuate enough for the sap to flow. The nights need to be below freezing and the days warm for the best production. If it just stays cold night and day (which happened at times) or just stays warm (which also happened) then there is no flow. We simply had less sap running than past years. The last boil of the season for the Hardwick Sugar Shack was Sunday, March 29th.

Well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. We’re lucky, in fact. Some maple producers did not even tap this year because of the ice storm damage. Although we did have some damage to our maple bush here at the house, all our other trees were fine. No problemmo.

Pictured here are the sap masters! Al is a friend that lends Joe a much-needed hand during the season. And Richie is another local maple producer. He and Joe are always comparing notes and helping each other.  

Joe already has grand plans to expand production for the 2010 season. There’s no doubt our equipment could take more taps (remember, Joe bought that fancy reverse osmosis machine), and that we could sell more syrup (every drop we produce is purchased). The only two factors that need closer examination before expansion is Joe’s ability to handle a larger workload during sugaring season and the funding of additional equipment. Running a small family business always is a juggling act!

When you order your maple syrup here online, you’re buying syrup that was just made this season. We don’t sell syrup that has been stored for long periods of time.

More to come on how we are growing as we progress through the year. Wait a minute! As I write this, I realize Joe came home today with a 1000 gallon stainless steel tank. I guess he’s already started the expansion…

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