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2011 Maple Syrup Season Wrap-Up
Frost Valley YMCA’s 2011 maple sugar season was a significant improvement over 2010. Last year’s season, if you recall, was marked by unseasonably high temperatures and low syrup yields. 2011 was a different story. Frost Valley’s sugaring program produced 292 gallons of syrup, more than double 2010’s yield. The increase in production was attributed to cooler temperatures and some new equipment installed in the sugar bush.
During the off-season, the Natural Resources Department completed installing new ‘check-valve’ adapters on the lower mainline of the main sugar bush. These spiles incorporate a 1-way flow adapter, which prevents contaminated sap from being pulled back into the drilled tap hole. This slows the process of bacterial contamination in the tap hole which, in turn, lengthens the sugaring season. Thanks to the warmer weather and new spiles, the 2011 season extended 19 days longer than the 2010 season.
Right: Intern Max Goldstein hard at work mapping sugar lines.
As anyone who has done maple sugaring before knows, once the sap stops flowing, the work doesn’t end. In addition to the off-season chores of cleaning equipment, stacking firewood, and fixing downed sap lines, the NRES department tackled the task of mapping out our sugar bush. NRES intern Max Goldstein spent several weeks out in the sugar bush during the summer of 2011. Using GPS surveying equipment, Max inspected all of the sap lines and tapped maple trees at Frost Valley, allowing us to create accurate maps of the Frost Valley sugaring operation. These maps will enable the Natural Resources and Environmental Science department to better plan expansions and improvements to the maple sugaring operation in the future.
Scenes above of our Maple Sugar House in full swing during sugaring season. Join us for our Maple Sugar Open Houses in March 2012!
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