I have now been given Dr’s permission to start working, but I need to sit down every 60-90 minutes with my feet up for 30 minutes. That’s the best I get right now, I’ll take it.
First I need to finally pull my taps, they should have been pulled 6 weeks ago. Then I need to final clean the Reverse Osmosis (RO) and put it to bed until just before the 2019 season. Then I’m running low on some syrups, I will check inventories and pack more from my SS barrels I have filled. Next comes some sawing, I have a new storage shed, 14′ x 28′ which I am using for both storage and a work shop. Lots to do on that. I think my first task is to saw some lumber and build a loft, over the back half, since I park my tractor in the front half, where I can store lots of lighter items. I will saw up some hemlock logs I cut last fall for that. I think next I’ll run power from the sugarhouse to the shop. I bought the wire last fall but the ground froze before I got the trench dug, wire put in conduit and buried, I am putting a 100 amp service in the shop. Eventually I will build a walk in cooler addition on the east side of the shop and a blacksmith shop built on the north with an equipment lean-to roof added to the west side for storing some of my tractor equipment out of the elements. All of these will be built out of my hemlock except the pressure treated posts I’ll need. That will be a lot of sawmill time for a guy who needs to set down every 60-90 minutes and put my feet up for 30 minutes. I’m not used to even taking a break except to have some ice water or lunch or supper.
I did get one break, my daughter and her husband have taken over the blueberry operation for 1 year, then they will decide if they want to buy it.
Then as I get time I’ll need to check the woods for needed repairs to tubing and add more taps. I want to add about 50-75 more at the sugarhouse which will get that to about 300 taps. My leased woods I also want to add about 100 more which should get that to about 650-700 taps giving me about 950, maybe 1000 taps. That may be the biggest I’ll ever get from here on. At one time back when I had 3 college kids working for me I had 1320 taps on 2 leases but nothing around the sugarhouse because I didn’t have vacuum there at that time and the 2 leases kept us busy. After that I sold one lease to an Amish man just up the road from one lease and I cut back to one lease, that’s when I got vacuum set up at the sugarhouse and I first tapped just 175 taps on that, this year I added 50 more. In fact that Amish man is the one who built my new shop, he does a great job and the price is fair.
We have been doing well with the bourbon barrel aged maple syrup and I think in 2-4 weeks the next batch will be ready to bottle, taste test coming soon to determine that. I ordered the bottles this morning for that. Bottle cost only went up $.04/each since last August, could have been worse I guess. For now, the bourbon barrel aged syrup will remain at $12.00 a bottle for 6.76 fl oz. After that next batch I’ll need to order more labels. I will likely place a bigger order for a better price after seeing how well the BB syrup sells. I just need to make sure I don’t order so many that the label adhesive is still good when I bottle, it has a shelf life of just 2 years.
At this time my only retail outlet locally is a place called The Eclectic Chic. It is currently on a hill which is somewhat hard to get up in snowy weather. They are moving to a much better location with no hill and a one story building rather than two, plus it will have about double the space. The current location did quite well for me selling my syrup, this should do lots better. The new location will be at 21 Seneca Ave, Oneida Castle 13421 (the former Kime True Value). It is scheduled to open July 1, 2018, but that is subject to revision, originally was for June 1 but the carpenters fell behind on changes being made. For those interested I’ll try to post when the date becomes official.
I guess that’s it for now, more to follow soon.