2015 was the earliest, longest, and slowest harvest on record for us. After a record warm March, we started collecting sap on April 4th. We finished May 5th after 28 harvest days and a few days shut down due to freezing temperatures. We struggled a bit with our vacuum and gravity lines this year, as the freezing created a few issues! Our 7 sap suckers, line checkers, and haulers worked hard to bring in a harvest that was certainly frustrating at times! We had little sap come in from other collectors this year, so were mostly on our own. It was lovely to have my younger daughter, Kaila, help with syrup-making this year – and she’s a great baker as well! So cookies helped keep the crew going through this long harvest. In some ways it was nice to get it done and get the shop up and running without the usual overlap pressure.
125,000 gallons of sap collected from 10,000 trees, resulting in 1100 gallons of some of the sweetest, lightest birch syrup we have ever produced!
That is the up side of cold weather–we sacrifice a bit of quantity for an uptick in quality. Differences are subtle from year to year but, like wine making, they do exist. 2015 will go down in MY book as a very good year!