Country Maple Farms Shelburn MA Jim and Angel Bragdon
Mar 10, 2015

So Much To Do!

We definitly tackled our to do list this weekend.  Maybe not as fast as we had hoped but we still knocked a few items off the list...


Sunday's plan was to wash sap collecting tanks.  In order to do this we had to get the water hooked up to the sugar house.  We connect the hose faucet from the house and have the black main line tubing running to the sugar house.

The first step is connecting the water... defrost the "frost free" faucet.

*Note to self* Do Not use the torch to defrost the faucet.  In doing so we melted the plastic piece on the top of the faucet.  Off to Home Depot to find a replacement part.  Home Depot had the part, so we thought.  It didn't quite fit.  Off to Aubuchon's!  They had the exact piece we needed.  The only problem, we had to buy the whole faucet to get the piece we needed.

Another little project we wanted to do before turning the water on to the sugar house was replace the connection from the hose to the pipe line that runs to the sugar house.  We installed cam locks at the end of each hose.  The clear/white hose connects to the pipeline that runs to the sugar house.
This will make it much easier at the end of the night when we are done boiling.  I really appreciate this change.  Instead of fighting with the hoses now all I have to do is push the red  buttons and pull the metal handles and it'll release.  You do have to do it rather quickly so you don't get too wet, as it explodes a little when you un-do the connection.
Here is a shot of the pipeline running down to the sugar house.  You can also see where the clear/white hose connects to the pipeline.  This end of the pipeline is anchored to a tree with some rope.
As the pipeline gets closer to the sugar house it goes over our road that goes up on to the top of our property.  We have a very technical way of making sure our trucks can fit under the pipeline.  A tree branch with a Y in it!! hehe
As you can see our tank are still stacked and covered in snow.  Not anymore!  Here is a photo of the water line going into the back of the sugar house.  Once inside the sugar house the water forks and goes into the canning room and into the evaporator room.
On Sunday we were able to get most of our tanks washed and ready to be put out at the end of our pipelines.
While we had helpers cleaning out tanks Jim and I focused on cleaning the evaporator.  Its amazing what White Vinegar can do!  I was so busy cleaning I forgot to take a couple pictures.  Oops!  The evaporator is almost all ready to go!  Jim wants to re-plumb the automatic draw off.  I believe he is planning on buying the parts today to work on that project.  Hopefully there will be pictures to come.
At the end of the day/night we have to make sure we dissonnect all the hoses and drain them.  You'd be surprised at how quickly water freezes!!  We have learned the hard way a time or two.
Yesterday Jim and his brother set out all the tanks.  Saps been running a tiny bit, but nothing to speak of.  When I got home from work Jim was cleaning up some snow around the outside of the sugar house.
He even took a moment to pose for a picture :)
After using the tractor there was a little bit of touch up work to do with a shovel.
These were some of the more major projects that got completed.  Here is a list of some of the other items on our to do list that we have checked off.
  • Cleaning the concentrate tank
  • Put the Reverse Osmosis Machine back together
  • Cleaning the rinse take on the Reverse Osmosis Machine - this entails getting soft water from our Uncle's to run through the machine.  Hard water is not good for it (which is what we have)
  • Cleaning out the pipe that goes from the concentrate tank to the evaporator
  • Cleaning out the sap storage tank behind the sugar house
  • Replace a piece of the pipe where the sap comes into the sugar house, on the inside and outside of the sugar house
  • Clean all the small tools/parts for the evaporator in a water/vinegar mix
  • Clean the premeate tank
That's all I have for now.  Until next time!