We began tapping maple trees in January 2020. We closely followed the Ecocert guidelines on tapping to ensure our products are certified organic as well as to maintain the health and prosperity of our forest. The tapping went well and weather conditions were favourable.
We were able to install our monitoring system in February. This monitoring system is made up of 535 individual stations that aid our employees in finding blockages and leaks in our sap grid. The monitoring system measures the vacuum and temperature in each 1" mainline. We closely monitored our system to ensure high vacuum in order to capture as much sap as we can. Pictured below is an example of our monitoring dashboard with all the monitoring station locations, 1" mainlines, 3" and 4" buried lines and our trail systems.
Sap began to flow March 1, 2020 it was an exciting time here at Black Bird as we got to see all our hard work come to fruition. On our heaviest flow day we received 460,000 litres of sap over a 10 hour period. Our last day for collection of sap was May 4, 2020.
Over the course of the season we were able to keep our reverse osmosis machines concentrating the sap to 30 brix, which extracts over 93 percent of the water. This allows us to burn less fuel when evaporating which helps keep our carbon footprint as small as possible.
Our evaporators worked quite well. We were able to produce 1,000 litres per hour of pure maple syrup. We produced over 100,000 litres of maple syrup this season. We are quite pleased with our production this season and we are now expanding our sap grid to collect sap from another 20,000 trees next season.
We would like to thank everyone involved in making this project a success. Special thanks to our employees, Mike Moore Construction, CDL, KC Logging and many other subcontractors.