Tours This Weekend

We will be hosting free tours again this weekend on Saturday & Sunday from 9am – 4pm.  We are unable to host mid-week tours this year, so if you would like to come and see the process and enjoy some sweet treats this weekend is the time to come!

 

 

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Last Season To Catch A Tour!

After quite a bit of soul searching and heartache, we have decided that this year will be the last year of operation for Turtle Lane Maple Farm. With the challenging weather patterns, the amount of physical work involved and the investment we would need to make to keep this operation running into the future, we decided that we can’t support another season.

That said, if you have been putting off a visit, now is the time to come out for a day of sweet, tasty fun! We will be hosting free tours Saturdays and Sundays from 9am – 4pm starting this weekend, March 14 through Sunday, March 29th. If the weather holds we might be able to extend through the weekend of April 4….stay tuned for updates.

We appreciate all the support we have received from the community. It is truly our pleasure to share our passion with you!

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Let the Tapping Begin!

Alright – Mother Nature woke up and decided it’s time to get us out of the frozen temps into something more appropriate for March!  This weekend we’re hanging lines and tapping trees in anticipation of the warm weather coming starting early next week.  Plan is to have our first boil (and therefore first tours) on Saturday, March 14.  Check back during the week for exact details.

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Anticipating 2015 Season

It’s been a long time since our last post!  We had a great summer and fall, and now seem to be stuck in winter for the foreseeable future.  We typically have our first boil right around the first of March, which would be this weekend.  Unfortunately we are stuck in a cold snap, and until the weather turns a bit warmer the sap will remain frozen in the trees.  Ideal temperatures for sap to flow are 40’s during the day and below freezing at night.  I think we have the nights figured out…we just need some warm days!

Given the weather situation, we won’t be able to boil the weekend of February 28 or the weekend of March 7.  We will watch the temperatures closely and hope that we see a turnaround so we can host tours during the weekend of March 14.

Maple is the first crop of the year, kicking off the agricultural season.  In New England the sugaring season is typically 4 weeks in duration, extending through month of March.  With the late start this year you may wonder if the season will extend until the middle of April. We can’t predict for certain when it will end, but there are two major factors that come into play.

The first factor is the temperature.  We need variation between warm days (40+ degrees) and cold nights (below freezing).  This variation is what causes the sap to move between the roots and branches of the tree.  During that movement is when the sap travels past our taps, resulting in what is considered a “flow day”.  There are usually between 14-17 days during the month of March where we see those temperatures.  By the time April comes, the nighttime temperatures are usually not low enough, therefore the sap remains in the tree roots unable to pass by our taps.

The second factor, which is also tied to weather, is when the trees begin to bud.  Once we see buds on the trees,  the sap changes flavor and therefore is not usable for making syrup.

So given those two factors, it is likely that the season will still end by the end of March, but only Mother Nature knows how long she will keep us in this frozen state!

We will update the website as well as our facebook page as we know more.  Fingers crossed…and searching for a “hurry up Spring” dance!

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2104 Maple Season Comes to a Close

Although the season was short it was another great one, thanks to the nearly 2.000 visitors who came out during the last 3 weekends of March.  We produced 71 gallons of syrup, which is beyond what we had projected for this very short 2014 season.  Now we are on to cleanup activities starting today.  We will be in the field washing and taking down all of our lines, an annual ritual that starts the “season of cleaning” for TLMF.  Tomorrow will start the cleaning of hoses and equipment in the sugar house.

If you are looking for syrup, it can be purchased at J&M or Butcher Boy in North Andover, or at Elia’s Country Store in Wilmington or at Ryers Country Store in North Reading.  If you cannot find what you’re looking for, please send an email to info@turtlelanemaplefarm.com and we can help you.  (Email is better than phone calls as we are not so good at returning calls.)  We also have some maple candy, maple cream and maple sugar at the farm if you are interested,  just drop us a note and we can coordinate a day/time for you to pick it up.  We do not ship – that’s a whole other set of time consuming activities that we simply cannot undertake, so apologies to those of you who are not local.

Have a great year, and please look us up next year!

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