For three years, Matthew Dandy and Scott McCaig have been spending that “limbo” time between winter and summer building what is today known as the appropriately named Fine and Dandy, a line of maple products crafted to perfection in their own backyards.
“This is our third year doing it,” said Dandy. “The first year, we only had 30 buckets. The second, last year, we had 200. This year, we installed a full pipeline system hooked to a vacuum pump for 325 trees, plus 30 buckets. This effectively doubles production.”
The tapped maple bush is on Dandy’s property and the shack on McCaig’s.
“This is the first year we do a real, proper setup with all the right equipment. We also have a Fine and Dandy logo on our product. It’s a great hobby that brings in a little bit of income,” said Dandy.
A great season
Even though the season isn’t quite over, the duo made between 140 and 150 gallons of maple syrup.
“Considering the amount of trees we tapped, it’s… Very good! It’s still going, too,” said Dandy.
According to Dandy, a good season requires a good freeze during night time, lasting a couple of hours, followed by a nice, moderately warm spring day. It’s all based on atmospheric pressure. When it lifts, the trees suck up water and nutrients from the ground; they release some of it when the pressure rises once more. The mild warmth (2, 3 degrees Celsius) also prevents bacteria that stop production.
In other words, spring 2018 might have been on the disappointing side for humans, but it clearly motivated our maple trees to work overtime.
Fine and Dandy has a variety of maple products for sale. Anyone interested in this great venture should visit the duo’s Facebook page, Fine and Dandy Maple.
Keep scrolling down to see more pictures of the Fine and Dandy operation!