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August 2020
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Season wrap up
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 9:15 am

The 2019 season was short and sweet.  Sugar content of 2.7% was the highest since 2006.  Sap was collected for 24 days.  Tapping started with 30 inches of snow on the ground and was the first time I remember seeing snow drifts after the season was over.  This was the second season using the Leader Vacuum systems and we collected the most sap and syrup since we started in 1991.  Pulling taps with vacuum results in all sap being removed from lines to reduce bacteria growth and is quicker.  You can also determine where improvements are needed in the future. The longer the drop is from the main line the vacuum is less. . This year 8 year old Vince Cognetta and 9 year old Dylan Olk helped pull taps.  Using the 2 foot long aluminum spile pullers they pulled the taps and then Vince’s dad Vinny and Dylan’s grandpa Dave would cut off the clear spile from the drop (we bought the Husky flexible hose clipper from Home Depot)  and attach the drop to the nipple on the tee to seal the system. This is the first year we used the red plugs to seal the drops if there wasn’t a nipple to attach the drop.  The red plugs were 6 cents a pc and worked great. 

Pulling taps on Saturday was Vinny, Mike, Dave, Brent, Kevin, Vince and Dylan.  All of the taps were pulled by 3pm.  Earlier in the day Jim had to take his air compressor to pump up a flat tire on the homewoods vacuum wagon.  He brought it to his farm and cleaned it up.  Unfortunately when cleaning the vacuum exchanger he dropped the top and cracked a PVC pipe.  Jim and Vinny then brought the vacuum wagon home from Patnode Lane after the taps were all pulled so they could arrive for the Easter Egg hunt in time (4pm) at Jim’s farm.  It took awhile for Jim to drive the 5 miles since he only goes about 10MPH with the 50+ year old spreader.
Late Easter Sunday Dave and Jim cleaned the vacuum wagon and put it away in the hay mow.  Dave changed the oil on the pump and vacuum motor and cleaned the two boosters.  He then took Bruce’s ATV and did a final drive through the woods. It was a beautiful sunny day - about 78 degrees.  Everything looked great. All taps were pulled and drops sealed to the tees or plugged.  All done and ready for summer. 

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