Tuesday, March 11, 2008
On Sunday, I helped inaugurate the 2008 maple sugaring season out at the farm. We tapped about 60 more maple trees (they had already tapped a bunch a few days prior), and then spent the whole afternoon collecting sap to bring down to the sugar shack.
Most of the trees are hooked up to tubes that all drain into huge 250 gallon collecting tanks, but a number of trees are still done with the old fashioned bucket hanging from a tree. Most of the trees with buckets are along the road, but it is really difficult to climb up the huge pile of snow on the side of the road (all the while risking the chance that you'll fall through the thin icy layer on top and end up waist-high in a snow drift!) and make your way to the buckets, empty them into your bigger bucket, then make your way back down the snow drift...without spilling too much sap!
All in all, we gathered almost 600 gallons of sap, which sounds like a lot, but with a ratio of 40 gallons of sap to every one gallon of maple syrup, that is only enough for about 15 gallons of syrup! But the sugaring season has just begun, and the sap is likely to flow like crazy this week since we are expected to have daytime temperatures above freezing for the rest of the week.