While doing errands today in town, I heard several complaints that we still have a chill in the air; still just a touch of winter. Where is the warm weather? I looked solemn, bewildered and tried to act somewhat out of sorts. You see, I still succumb to peer pressure even at my age because inside I was saying "Yahoo! Bring it on". It is these cool temperatures and fresh Northwest wind that is allowing us to continue producing maple syrup. Now, some people say there is not one bit of data to support the theory that maple trees prefer the Northwest wind. They are probably right but I maintain that just because the data hasn't been collected doesn't mean that it isn't true. As the old wives tale goes, "West is best, East is least".
We have been having ideal conditions here at Canadian Organic Maple. It has been freezing, some nights just barely but nevertheless it froze, and the sap stopped. The daytime highs have been anywhere from 4 - 9 Centregrade. There is lots of cloud cover and as I mentioned that good old Northwest wind. Everyone is still excited and no one is ready to quit until the trees have given their very definite signals that they are done producing.
There is one more member of our sugar house staff that I would like to introduce. Terry has been with us perhaps three seasons, this might be his fourth. Time goes by so quickly and this time of year all the years run together. Terry works on the filter press, helps with the evaporators and works with the bottling of the syrup. In the fall he too is in the woods doing maintenance, running new lines and then in the woods for tapping of the trees. I hesitate to try to list of duties that each person performs because the reality is everyone is flexible and is willing to do what ever needs to be done at that moment. Terry is Devin's father and like Devin, he likes to do things right. Whatever job you ask Terry to do, you are guaranteed that it will be well done. Anyone who is a parent knows the feeling you get when you come into a room and all the kids have been up to something. You know it but you can't really put your finger on it; this is the feeling I get sometimes when I go through the evaporator room. They are looking way too amused to be just boiling syrup. This great energy is the great thing about going into the evaporator room. Everybody is working full out - the syrup might be pressing hard and the pans are needing to be cleaned often but they still have a good sense of humor even if they have been going for 18 hours straight. We recognize and appreciate this dedication to producing a great product for Canadian Organic Maple Co. Ltd. Thank-you to you all.