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Maple Sugaring and its Winter Challenges

Keith Dufresne maple sugaring
Keith Dufresne firing the evaporator

Dufresne maple sugaring productionI am frequently asked if this or that weather event is good, or bad, for sugaring.  There is no answer to that.  Keith, my husband, who is a fourth generation maple sugar producer, says that what keeps him sugaring is that it is different every year, and you never know what Mother Nature will throw at you or what effect it will have.  Keith would say that the ideal harvest conditions would be 40 degrees during the day, 20 to 25 degrees at night, under cloudy skies, for six weeks or so, to get in a good-sized crop.  Of course, it does not work like this.  And this only applies to the period of time of harvesting the sap. The prior year affects sugaring conditions as well. This year we have had very little true winter weather yet.  It almost seemed as if we might skip the full winter experience and go straight into spring.  But regardless of winter’s wacky weather, my favorite answer of Keith’s, when he is asked how the weather, or some other circumstance, might affect the season is: Ask me in April.  In other words, I’ll know once we are done.   ~ Jacqueline

Keith Dufresne interview on 22 News
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