December Update: From Backyard Sugarer to Commercial Syrup Production

A view of part of Doug's farm.
Doug has submitted an early-bird grant application to take advantage of a review process. This will point to any holes that may remain in the application.

While Doug awaits a response, he continues to study. On December 1, 2009, he made a trip to White Top Mountain, just across the NC/VA state line, to have another look at the maple syrup operation and to took notes with an eye specifically toward tubing. It is Doug’s hope to find a local source for his tubing. This may be a challenge because the tubes required are not the standard "black tubing" we see at hardware stores. Maple syrup tubes are made of a material that will not transfer a "plastic" flavor. So, he continues his search for a good source, and is preparing for the order. Within a week, and if the weather permits, Doug will begin the first step in installing the main line of tubing. This begins with running wire. Only after a main line of tubing is installed will lateral lines be installed.
For a glance at highland weather, it is 35 degrees and cloudy today at Doug’s house, with mountain peaks nestled in the clouds. Doug expects 3-6 inches of snow Saturday. Keep in mind that elevational differences. Doug's land sits at 3,200 - 3,400', and the peaks near his house rise to between 4,400-4,600 feet. Remember that the air cools on average 3.4 degrees F with each 1,000 feet of climb, which is just enough to give Doug a little extra snow every year!When he was at White Top Mountain (one can drive up to 5,440 - 5,520 feet) in Virginia on Tuesday, he encountered 2 inches of snow and a crystal clear day! Mt. Mitchell could be seen on the horizon, a view of nearly 65 miles!
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