Tag Archives: tapping

tap tap tap

The sap is running!  Last year we were largely robbed of the sugar season when winter ended a month early (just kidding!  Catastrophic frost in June!).

I completely failed to get taps in the trees on time last year.

This year, the sugar season is right on time, precisely timing the sugar moon.  I’ve got one tree tapped, the sap is flowing, and I’m even boiling it down!In the past I’ve tapped several trees and collected an awe-inspiring quantity of sap, and failed to boil any because in general I don’t even try to resist chugging it, cold, standing next to the tree (WOW!).

I made kombucha from it (wow), I boiled it to make tea, and soup, but not syrup.

Also I believed the horror stories of dripping walls and sauna reenactments from boiling sap indoors and vaporizing 39 out 40 parts water.  Doing it anyways.  I discovered something, maybe.  I was in and out of the house today turning the stove on when I was in and off when I left (window open), and whenever I returned to the cooled pot, there was a remarkable drop in the high water mark.  It seemed quite a bit was evaporating every time while it cooled, without the burner on.  So perhaps that’s a tiny bit more efficient?

But this time, I have a modest amount collected, (still chugging it from the bucket but with a little restraint), and I’m hoping for a quarter cup of syrup :D.  Maybe a half a cup:)

Maple trees

Since we have discovered the joy and ease of maple sap collection, I’ve developed keen eyes for the maple trees.  At the beginning of spring the maples bud before the other trees, and the treetops turn into a burst of red against the sky.

One grey day I decided to go flag all the maples in our general habitat zone.  There were about 5x as many as I thought, more than 30, and the dog patiently slogged through the underbrush with me to each one, as I saw  yet another telltale red  treetop and went to flag it.IMGP0361

I cannot tell the difference between rock (sugar) maples, and red (not so sugary) maples at this stage.  I can tell before the buds open and go all red, but I missed that.  By next year we will probably have distinguished between the two kinds, but for now, I was just flagging all maples, mostly so we don’t get carried away and cut any down, but also so that we can keep an eye on them and figure out which are which.

There are only a few days that the buds are out announcing themselves, and raining the telltale sprinkling of red flowers onto the ground.  I look first at the ground, and then up, to see which tree is dropping them.

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