November Update: From Backyard Sugarer to Commercial Syrup Production

November 1, 2009
Doug has graded the yard behind his house in preparation for building a syrup processing house. The building will be constructed from timber harvested from his land during recent thinning. This thinning was done by Mountain Works out of Todd, North Carolina using sustainable and low-impact techniques. The wood will be milled at a local mill this winter so it will be ready for construction next year. In addition to using the wood from his property for construction needs, a large recycled greenhouse frame will be incorporated.
Doug is currently planning to install tubing to the trees down slope from his house. He is plotting the main line of tubing using string. This main line will connect nearly 100 taps and plotting its path has been a challenge because of the steep and varied slopes. The line must run consistently uphill while hitting as many trees as possible. The tubes will create an airtight system and thus a vacuum. This greatly increases sap flow as it draws the liquid from the trees. He expects the output to be significantly more this coming winter. A 100 gallon tank will be placed at the bottom of this tubing run and the sap will be transported to the site of production further up the hill after the sap has dropped...saving lots of time and sweat. Last year small buckets and jugs of sap were muscled up the hill to be processed!

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