Country Maple Farms Shelburn MA Jim and Angel Bragdon
Feb 22, 2016

So Busy

We've been so busy trying to get ready for the season I haven't had much time to write.  Here is what we have been up too...


The electrical company came by and hook the wires up to the vacuum shed.

Its kinda hard to see but at the very top of the pole you can see some wires.

Jim and I spent quite some time plumbing up the inside of the building.  We had to plumb the vacuum pump to the moisture trap and then to the vacuum releaser.  The tank that the vacuum releaser dumps into needed to be plumbed to the pump and the pump needed to be plumb to our 1,500 gallon tank that is by the road.  Jim thought about this for a few minutes...

Off to the store we went!!

We also had to make a shelf for the vacuum releaser to sit on over the dump tank.


Here is a photo of most of the plumbing job we did.  The vacuum pump is on the left.  The pipe goes up to the moisture trap.  This prevents sap from getting to the vacuum pump.  Then it goes over to the releaser (You'll see this more in the second photo).


After getting that all plumbed up we had to connect the mainlines coming into the shed to the vacuum releaser.  To do this we had to make a few more holes in the side of the building.

Here is what it looks like with all the pipes connected.

Not all of those will have sap coming through them.  Two of them are dry lines.  These help get the vacuum to the top of the sugar bush.

After we got the vacuum shed all plumbed up we joined Ken in the sugar bush and tapped trees.  We got a total of 763 taps done.

When we got to the top of the sugar bush it was quite windy!

When your walking in the woods tapping trees this is the sort of back and forth walking you do.

On Sunday after tapping we went to a neighbor's over in Conway to see if they were boiling.  And they were!!

Now in order for the vacuum pump to do a good job on the sap lines there as to be no leaks.  Think of it like this.  Picture your vacuum cleaner.  If the hose going to the end had a bunch of holes in it there wouldn't be much suction at the end of the hose.  So you wouldn't be able to pick up much dirt.  Same kind of idea with the vacuum pump on all the sap lines.  So that means every time a silly squirell chewed through the lines and made a hole you have to fix it.  Here is a video of what hole looks like with the vacuum pump on.

This is what the same sap line looks like where it connects to the main line when it had a leak in it.

As the sap enters the vacuum shed and goes into the releaser this is what it looks like.

In this next video you get to see the releaser dump the sap into the dump tank.  Pretty neat!!

Now to get the dump take to empty out Jim had to come up with a way to make the pump automatically turn on.  Otherwise it would either always have to be on or we would always have to check it and turn on the pump.

This next picture is of the dump tank with its float switch attached to the white pipe.  On the left is the pump that will send the sap to the tank by the road.

 I hope you enjoyed reading!

Until next time!