Hello Maple Syrup Fans!

I am happy to report that Syrup Season 2021 is underway at Garside Gardens. Mike and I always hum and haw for a few days before we start tapping trees. This year was no exception.

Mike works on notes while on the trail

Eyes constantly on the weather forecast, it can be tricky to tell when the best time to tap is. It is different for everyone depending on the size of the production and how sap is extracted. For us, if it is too cold we can’t run our vacuum pump and the sap lines just freeze. Also, since we clean the system as we tap, it needs to be pretty mild outside.

This year we decided to try out 1/4 inch health spiles. 1/4 inch health spiles are supposed to be less invasive to the tree. A smaller hole means a smaller wound to heal over. We have approximately 240 taps in trees so far and a potential to tap about another 300 if we’re feeling up to it. Each year we leave trees out that we feel could use the rest. This is very subjective, but we look at dieback or damage and we leave it out if it looks substantial. Sometimes we give the younger trees in better shape a year or two off as well. We have cut back to only one tap per tree regardless of the size as well. This is one of the bonuses of having a small sugar bush. We can pay close attention to how our trees are doing and do our best to keep them alive longer while also getting sap to produce our quality syrup.

In spite of getting a breeze from the Tropics yesterday (followed by some serious wind gusts) and a couple of nice days prior to that, we are still in for some colder weather. The forecast changes daily at this point, but there are a couple of cold (below -10) nights still ahead of us. Soon enough we’ll be in full production mode.

Here’s hoping this season is a good one for all the sugar makers on the Island!


tall syrup trees

Quality over Quantity at Garside Gardens.