I was scheduled for major surgery on 1/19, it got postponed due to complications. I have an appointment with the surgeon on 2/10 to set up another surgery date. When I got to the hospital on 1/19 at 6:00 AM, I had a non covid related temperature, thus the surgery will be re-scheduled.
Hopefully the next time it proceeds according to schedule. This is not an elective surgery but a much needed one, hopefully to correct a repeating issue with diverticulitis.
Syrup, I’m currently out of some sizes and grades of maple syrup. I have no more barrels of Amber so what I have is it until the new season gets underway. In dark I do have 1 barrel left, but since I’m only out of half pints I will not repack any until either I need more in larger sizes or I start getting new crop in dark and fill some then. While dark is by far my best selling grade I have a very good stock of it in the larger sizes. The only reason I’m out of the little half pint is because one customer bought every container I had for stocking stuffers shortly before Christmas.
The 2022 season, could start anytime from now until as late as the end of March, it all depends on the weather. For the new season to start it requires sub-freezing temperatures generally at night, followed by high 30’s or warmer to turn the sap flow on. If we get really hard freezes it can take 2 or more days of warm to thaw the tree out before the sap starts to flow. Mother Nature is in complete control. Once the flow starts the best flows are when overnight we get 3 or more hours of 27F or colder, then days in the mid 40’s up to as much as 52 or so, then if no freeze and on vacuum the sap will flow for 2-3 days non stop. If on buckets about a day and a half flow is about the best you can get from a freeze, then it needs to freeze again.
Basically the tree stores the sugar in the entire trunk from when the leaves were in sunlight the previous year, as the tree freezes it pulls water up thru the roots, as the tree warms it creates a pressure of up to about 35 psi in the trunk and the sap flows out the taphole sugarmakers drill in the tree. The hole is typically about 2″ deep. That pressure is there to push sap (feed) up to even the highest buds on the tree to feed the buds to make it possible for the tree to make leaves for the new spring season, as well as to flower.
Sap typically comes out of the tree at on average about 2% sugar and 98% water. To convert that into syrup the sugarmaker removes the excess water either by boiling down to 69% sugar, or most of us now use reverse osmosis to remove much of the excess water, then it must be boiled to finish it into maple syrup. The boiling and the caramelization of the sugar on the bottom of the pan gives maple that traditional flavor so loved by consumers. It also gives the syrup it’s color, the darker it is the more intense the flavor.