Making Maple Syrup and The Pump House
Truthfully, today's post was suppose to be all about sharing a beautiful day at our home and our sugar house. There were to be pictures of our friends and family celebrating the launch of our new business, and learning what making maple syrup is all about. Except there was one problem. The darn weather. We had our fingers crossed, we prepared, grocery shopped and had decorating plans in line. But the one things we could not change was the weather. It has been too cold for the sap to run yet and the one thing you really do need to make maple syrup is sap! So, we rescheduled and we hope that in a few weeks we will have a chance to try again with better luck. The good news however, is that the sap has started to run some and our systems are all set up and ready to go. Of course, I sound so bold saying that it was all Dana and he is still working crazy hard. Fortunately, the bright glimmer is still in his eyes even if he is exhausted! Last week, I shared about tapping the trees. This week, I will share about our pump house. Set right behind that pretty red barn, you will see a new structure which I helped build! Sunshine was so helpful and stood in front of it to give you a sense of the size. Inside is a giant stainless steel tank that collects the sap for most of the trees we have tapped here (about 2,700). Although we are on a ridge, and gravity helps a whole bunch with getting the sap to the tank, we have added a vacuum system this year as well. This help pull the sap down through the lines to be collected. It doesn't do any damage to the trees as they are able to replenish their stores of sap each day. Everything is tied to this panel which runs off a shut off/on valve based on temperature. Since temperature is what determines when the sap will run, the system is set to turn on and off based on the temperature changes. It is all powered and controlled by a motor. The sap enters through these blue canisters as you see below. Once they are filled, they empty into the stainless steel tank below. For us, this is a very beautiful sight! There is a pipe that runs out from the motor to another part of the property and it meets up with another blue canister. You can see where the mainlines that run off the hill run right into here on the side. Then it runs on a similar concept. When the blue canister fills below, then it dumps into a holding tank. Once the main tanks are filling, that is where our dump truck comes in. Using a gas powered pump, it is transferred to the tank in the dump truck and brought over to the sugar house. This part of the process is a little more technical but really cool to see. Next week, I will share what happens when it actually gets to the sugar house. Fingers crossed that the weather participates and doesn't get too cold or too warm just yet! Thanks so much for reading!