Filed under: General
@ 1:16 pm
On Thursday morning Joel Kannel used his heavy duty equipment to open the final stretch of the road to the homewoods collection tank. The snow was too heavy and deep for Jim’s JD tractor. Friday Dave and Dylan started tapping about noon and Brent & Kari came after work (3:30) to tap. Dylan and his grandpa Dave used snowshoes to get around. Dylan used his hammer to set in the spiles and also tapped his first tree. We got about 2/3 done and then Dave/Kari finished on Friday. On Saturday we picked up about 850 gallons of sap so the hard work walking through the snow was worth it. On Saturday AM Dave/Jim started up the diesel engine that runs the vacuum and it chugged to life. The vacuum started but the floats weren’t tripping the exchanger so we shut it down to figure it out. After talking with Greg Pittman we determined that JIm had put the exchanger cover on backwards after he cleaned it last year. Dave unlatched the cover and turned it 180 degrees and we were back in business. A simple solution. The sap ran hard until a low pressure system started approaching mid afternoon. Jim took down the first full tanker from the Homewoods - 589 gallons of sap at 2.8.
Back at the Harmon Woods Pittmans had picked up a tanker of about 3000 gallons Saturday morning and by the end of day there was 2000 more gallons ready to be picked up on Sunday. Vinny and his boy Vince checked the woods in the AM and found 2 drops not attached to the tap holes, a few other leaks and one manifold not attached. It was very quiet so to find a leak you just stood still and listened for the whistling of a vacuum leak. Brent and Dave started about noon and we inspected most of the woods. All lines were pulled out of the snow and leaking manifolds were tightened. The pressure gauge on the new vacuum booster read zero so Vinny and Dave removed the remaining 8 manifolds from the dry line and attached them to the new 1″ drain line. They had to head down the ravine to ‘killer hole’ to change the manifolds and then climb back out. We believe the dry line had too much sap in to to allow the vacuum to reach the booster. We’ll see what happens the next time we turn on the vacuum. we will have to inspect the far east and west lines on Monday to complete our post tapping inspection.
With the snow in the fields finally retreating the animals are out in droves to find forage. Driving down to the HArmon tanks yesterday we saw about 30 deer and 15 turkeys. They made it through the winter.
After today we should have gotten about 9000 gallons of sap and 250 gallons of syrup. Hopefully we can get 2000 gallons this year .
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