By Rich DeVries:
Here is a quick Maple Syrup update. We started tapping our sugar maple trees on February 8 and the sap was running when we tapped that day. We were planning on installing a new tubing system in February but we had to switch gears and get all the tapping done before we installed the new tubing.
On Monday February 20 we cooked down the 700 gallons of sap that we harvested so far. That sap was collected from the trees at the sensory garden and the trees behind the sugar house.
We now have just over 100 trees on the gravity tubing at the sensory garden, about 100 trees on the vacuum system at the sugar house and we just added 100 trees behind wood duck pond.
The new tubing is a smaller diameter, 3/16 instead of 5/16. The idea is that the tubing fills up with sap faster than the larger tubing. Compared to 5/16 tubing the sap will extend further down the line in the 3/16 tubing with more elevation change and it will create more suction on all the trees when the sap comes down the hill by gravity.
It is possible to get over 20″ of vacuum without the help of a vacuum pump.
It will be fun to compare the different tubing systems and how much sap we get from each of them.