Preparations for the 2022 Maple Season

by Don 2/21/2022 12:05:00 PM

Much has been happening behind the scenes at Somerskogen since we completed the 2021 season. Another year of the pandemic continued to refocus peoples attention from eating out (with its restrictions) to meal preparation at home. Consumers are paying greater attention to natural ingredients and local production of them. This has resulted in a marked increase in maple syrup sales for the industry and Somerskogen was no exception. We have received word of our syrup being used in all sorts of recipes,cocktails,and glazes for grilling.Substitution for sugar in the recipe is becoming standard fare!

We have also noted a marked change in our maple forest as the large fluctuations in rainfall, and erratic temperatures the last 5 years have placed added stress on the maples.We even had a DNR forester advise on this issue. Apparently other maple, basswood forests like ours in the state are similarly affected.Nerstrand State Park, which has some of the last virgin hardwoods in the state have recorded this change as well.

In an effort to maximize the efficiency of our vacuum collection system, we have added a pressure monitoring system made by CDL,a major maple equipment manufacturer, and installed by Roth Sugarbush of Cadott WI.This system has a vacuum sensor at the end of each mainline and transmits pressure readings to a central receiver located in our sugarhouse.Each unit is battery powered and charged with a solar panel.We can direct our attention to that area in the forest that may have lost vacuum due to squirrel bites, fallen trees, or loose spiles.This allows us to direct our attention to the problem region instead of walking aimlessly in the woods! We also have a tank monitor that reflects volume in our collection tank. We can also access this information on our cell phones.

So you can see...we've stayed busy!