Well, once again we were surprised by the start of maple sugaring season. But perhaps we were less surprised than previous years. That’s a good thing! This year, we had found the taps and Ed had prepared the “buckets” (milk jugs) ahead of time, but the stove was still missing when Ed brought the first two pails down the hill. It was quickly recovered and we got cooking! We do our sugaring the easiest way possible by cooking our syrup down in spaghetti pots on a two burner stove. I guess we could make it even easier if we used tubes to transport the sap instead of pails and our own two legs. But this way affords us a daily (sometimes twice daily) walk through the woods. We see how each tree is doing and it is almost like visiting a round of neighbors each day.
After the first couple days the sap stopped running because temperatures dipped into the single digits. But now most days we are getting some sap and so far we have produced about seven cups of syrup. That sounds modest and it is a minute amount compared to other serious producers. For us, when the sap stops running, we will have enough to last us until next year. It will be the result of thirteen tapped trees and dozens of gallons of sap carried down the hill, so it is enough in that way too!