Maple Syrup

With spring comes sap. In mid- March, we tapped maple trees. We did it all with sleds and snowshoes and three feet of snow. Later in April, we had a huge blizzard which brought a new 2 feet of snow. With every new tree we tapped, I would lay under it with my mouth wide open and let the sap drip right into my mouth. Usually, I would end up being really sticky, my face just covered in goo.

Drinking sap from tree

Drinking sap from tree

This year Rochelle bought tubing to see how it works for us. We also bought a 35-gallon enclosed barrel with a spigot and a fill hole that we pull behind in the snowmobile trailer and we empty the sap from the trees into it. After we are done collecting sap for the day we pull the trailer up on a little 2-foot hill we made and attach a hose to the spigot on the 35-gallon barrel and syphon it into a 50-gallon barrel where we store it until we are ready to boil. For the sap to run, the weather has to be just right. The trees need freezing temperatures at night and above freezing temperatures during the day.  After about a month, we boiled 165 gallons of sap in a 3 by 5 foot stainless steel shallow pan. The first morning, we began boiling with coats, hats, and gloves. When we finished we had T shirts. That day at some point Jan and I cut some fire wood for the cement block fire box that the pan rests on.                   

 

Stacking firewood for boiling

Stacking firewood for boiling

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On the second day of boiling when the sap was almost syrup I took some and put it in a cup and drank it straight. It’s really too sweet to drink by itself, so I have to say I like it better on oats and toast. In the end, we got 4.5 gallons of syrup. A few days ago, was our best sap collecting day yet. We got 65 gallons.  For our second boil, we had 125 gallons of sap, which made 2.5 gallons of syrup. Right now, it is the first part of May and the snow is almost gone. Spring is definitely coming.