I got a chance on a couple of mornings to buck and split some firewood. I have about 1/3 of what I need. A fast splitter really helps.
I also was also starting to empty a second storage unit I have rented, which should not have had any syrup in it, but I found another barrel, a 40 gal one at that, full of syrup. I guess it must have gotten put there when the other storage unit was getting rather full. At any rate, I’ll be packing this last one soon. I checked in the storage unit, there are no more barrels in there. I had seen this barrel a month ago or so, but I figured it was an empty one. This is even better than putting on a jacket you haven’t worn since last year and finding $20 in the pocket.
When packed, It’s certainly likely I won’t run out for Christmas sales, (but still possible) but I suspect I might still run out before the 2018 production starts, especially if the season starts late. It’s all about the weather.
In general, Jan. sales are slow, but they pick up in mid Feb and gain momentum from there, likely as people start getting tax refunds. I have one family who orders a whole year supply (usually 24 half gal) when their tax refund comes in. Today, I’ll do more firewood,Monday I might put the barrel heater on the newly found barrel to start heating it. After about a day, it pumps easily, when cold a 40 gal barrel can take about 10x as long to pump out, so 20 min. vs a little over 3 hrs (kind of similar to “molasses in January” slow). The forecast calls for 55 and rain Tuesday, a good day to pack that syrup.
In the mean time, I’ll try to finish the wood supply. So far I got thru about half of the smallest pile of logs, I still, if needed have 2 more much larger piles of logs but I’d need to move some on the top that were cut recently, and get to the ones that have been there for 2-3 years. Having the right equipment to move logs makes that fairly short work, likely just over an hour.
As it worked out I ended up finishing bottling the last of my syrup from the 2017 season this morning. Then having the new shed, I spent the afternoon hauling several loads from a storage unit I’ve been renting and I put it in the new shed. It was all maple stuff, lots of SS barrels and rolls of new tubing plus tubing fittings left from the 2017 season install. By then I was ready to go home and rest, but first I had to deliver more syrup to The Eclectic Chic, a store (the only store) I sell in.
Tomorrow I still have 2 pallets to haul back, both maple fittings and several cases of new buckets we use in our U-Pick Blueberry operation. Then I can turn the keys in after sweeping the floor and I’ll finally resume doing firewood. My Brother in law will be there to help.
We use a wood fired evaporator and I’m behind this year on my wood preparation. Usually I have my wood all cut, split and stacked 1.5-2 years ahead. This year I don’t. Originally I thought I might switch to oil for my heat (in the evaporator) but then I looked at the piles of good logs I had and decided I’d burn wood one more year. The logs have been cut and stacked 2-3 years, but I have to cut them to length and split them real soon. We use 21-24″ long wood, split about wrist size and we add a full arm load every 9 minutes when boiling, that’s a lot of wood to process. If we have a good season I can burn 12-16 full cord in the evaporator, plus I’m adding a wood stove in the shop (my new shed) for when I’m working in there during cold weather.
I’ll resume processing it tomorrow, at least in the morning. Joan wants to go look at some puppies later if we can. She’s looking for a small breed of some type. She has a few calls in, awaiting return calls. After 50 years I’ve learned that if she wants something I shouldn’t stand in her way.
On this thanksgiving day we want to wish everyone a happy thanksgiving.
In our day in day out activities we oft forget to take a moment to reflect on our blessings and be thankful for all we have in life.
Dave and Joan Klish
formerly known as
Dave’s Sugarhouse and
Dave and Joan’s sugarhouse
Yesterday I went up to remove the 850 gal tank out and place a newer 1000 gal tank the new lease owner will use. My 850 was there, in a very low area of the woods, a bog. I hauled my 4 ton excavator up to do the move, but then the new lease owner took his very large 4×4 tractor to do it. As a result, all I did with my excavator is move several rocks, some large (likely about a ton on the biggest one), the rest much smaller. Then I drove the excavator into the very wet low ground where the tank sat. I lifted each end to free it from the mud after pushing over 2 very dead ash trees. Since I had built a sled out of pressure treated 4×4’s with 2 4×6’s as skiis, to support the tank in the bog, it came out much easier than I had envisioned. Besides, after I loosened the skid’s grip in the mud, the new lease owner used a heavy nylon strap to lift one end and pull it up out of the bog. He then dragged it out of the way while I and my little excavator removed 3 or 4 large boulders from one side of where the new larger tank was going and I somewhat leveled the site. Then he lifted the new tank on the forks on the front of his tractor and placed it on some pressure treated 2×12’s that he had set in place to support the tank. First 2 of the 12′ planks went down crosswise under where the legs were going to be and then another 2 12′ planks sat on those, facing lengthwise to the tank and the 4 tank legs were directly on top of where the planks crossed each other.
Then the new lease owner hooked a chain onto the front of the skid on my tank that was removed and pulled it out of the woods. Once out, he unhooked the tow chain and lifted that tank and carried it out thru the open fields and set it on my brother in law’s trailer behind his truck to haul back. I had my heavy trailer on my truck to load my excavator on to haul back and we proceeded back to the sugarhouse (about 9 miles).
With all that help from the new lease owner and his large tractor (Case 85 something) with front tires almost as wide as the rear tires on my 36 HP tractor, what I had thought would be a very long day, ended up 2 or 3 hours shorter than expected, and that was alright by me.