Ragged View Farm  
Sugaring  

 

 Mark & Lea 2016

 

  
   As the days get longer in early February, "Sugar Fever" sets in. It’s a busy time from late February through early to mid April, but our own sweet syrup makes it worthwhile.

 In 2005 (ifI remeber correctly) Eric Johnson and I started sugaring. He built a sugarhouse and bought a wood fired arch. We hung some buckets and ran some tubing. Collected sap, started boiling and figured it out as we went along.

For the next  ten years we worked together with a rotating cast of characters. Eric's maple enthusiasm was pretty much boundless and his operation grew to over 1500 taps at various sites, with vacuum setups and an RO. I tagged along as best I could.

The number of taps here at Ragged View went from about 75 to close to 150. 

 

 

Eric & Mark

Maple Weekend Open House

Spring '07

 In the summer of 2012 my brother Bob and I cut pine here and Pete Druin brought his mill and sawed it out. In the Fall we began construction of a sugarhouse here at RaggedView Farm. With help from Eric and my compadres Andy and Andre', as well as brother, we got a frame up and a roof on before Winter set in hard. I continued boiling with Eric in the Springs of '13 and '14.
  
  Over the next couple years work continued. We added the cupola, bought Eric's old wood fired rig when he went to pellets and got it and the stack installed. We got it wired for lights and a blower and installed a woodstove, tanks and piping. By Spring of '15 we were ready to boil.
  

 

The "rig". 

A 2-1/2  X 8 witha 30x66  raised flue back pan and a 30x30 front pan on a custom forced air arch by Island View Fabrication.

The finished sugar house. Hopefully it does not look like a shack.

 

In action 2016. 

(This is probably a good place to thank Michele Riopel for the several photos she took that I used. Thanks!)