I'm excited to tell you that it's that time of year again.
Time to play among the sugar maples and tap away.
Last year was our first attempt at tapping our own trees and it was definitely a success.
Our crop was small; it wasn't the best year. Spring arrived early and things started heating up around here quickly and as the mercury rises the sap slows down.
Ideal conditions are day time temperatures hovering just above zero and night time temps dropping below zero.
And, that would be Celsius, because if you haven't noticed, I'm in Canada, eh?
We still managed to fill 8 pint jars of the golden goodness and this year's forecast looks so promising we may just double that number, if not more.
This year, we had to be conscious of where we placed our taps. So as not to over stress our trees, we
wanted to make sure we were at least a foot above or below last year's spot and had clearance of six inches
on either side. Some were easier to spot than others!
Because our trees aren't exactly close to a power source and
because I like sticking it to the hydro company every chance I can get,
the Artist hand drilled the holes this year. It was easy-peasy, well, it looked like it anyway.
It was a lovely sunny afternoon on Sunday when we tapped and the sap was running fast.
By the time we were finished hanging our buckets, all six of them,
the first bucket had over a quarter inch collected.
We could hang more buckets, in case you wondering,
they're big enough to hang three per tree and we didn't tap all of our sugar maples
(although any maple will work, sugar is just the favoured one)
but we also don't want to stress our trees.
They're over a hundred years old and we'd like to keep them around for as long as possible.
They don't make them like they used to, you know.
One thing we are doing differently, this year, is the sap to syrup process.
Last year it was done inside.
This year it's an outdoor job.
We had an epiphany one day, realizing that we had the perfect tool in the garage; this wood stove came with
the farmhouse but we had our own and it's been a dust collector ever since.
Not any more, and if this venture is successful, the Artist hopes to find a permanent spot for this baby
and build a little shack around it.
Our own sugar shack.
Or would that be sweet?
I'm linking up with Verde Farm for Farm Friend Friday!
~Happy Friday Friends~