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04/12/19
After the Super Storm
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 7:17 pm

We received about 10 inches of snow plus  sleet/rain and 50-60mph winds on Wednesday and Thursday. The ground was covered with many small branches.  The snow had a brown tint from the Texas dust storm that was sucked in the super storm. A large tree was blown over at the old Harmon farm and the power was off at the Harmon bins for about 3 hours. The sap started running about 11pm Thursday  - at 9AM the homewoods tank was filled to the brim and the Harmon tanks had run about 2200 gallons.  This all ran without the vacuum systems being on.  On Thursday evening Jim drove his tractor down into the homewoods and discovered that a large tree on the south hill had snapped off and fell within inches of hitting the vacuum wagon.  It knocked down but did not break the 3/4″ drain lines connected to the vacuum exchanger.  The 3/4″ line from the SW hill was laying under the tree.   I unhooked the line from the exchanger and was able to pull it out and reconnect the line to the exchanger.  The sap had continued to run despite going uphill and the tank was running over when we got there.  On the way in we thought we might have been in trouble since the 3 sap pails hung by Bill  B. were dripping.   The temperature only got about 35 degrees today and the sap ran very well.   It should be an extended run over the next week since the weather conditions will be ideal. 

Jim emptied the tank within 2 hours and had a truck load by 1pm.   While Jim emptied the homewoods tanks I drove through the slush to the Harmon woods to check on the vacuum wagon.  The only thing that happened was that the two step ladders had been blown over. I turned on the vacuum and everything was okay.  Drifts 2-3′ high were around the pickup tanks. Jason picked up 2800 gallons about 1pm since Pittmans wanted to startup the boiling process.  This sap should be better than the sap that made about 5 barrels after the 70 degree weather.  This syrup had an off taste due to the sap being to warm.
Greg P. advised me the bottling process was setup and ready so I said we’d be right down so we could replenish our inventory.  We ended up bottling 64 gallons with Marlo’s and Angie’s help. 
Jim picked up his final load of the day at 5pm - The drain hose from the tank broke off so it will need to be fixed before we can unload any more sap.  We’ll get that fixed tomorrow. 

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