I am happy to announce that the 2013 Sugarbush was a complete success!
Not only was it a success, it was a banner year for sap collection with over 100 gallons collected from our taps. We set out 18 this year on new trees, and 14 of them ran like gangbusters. Not sure what the deal was with the other four…
This last weekend we boiled down 50 gallons in one day, and let me tell you we are beat, tired and sore.
When I tell people that making maple syrup is more of a waiting game, it is a partial truth.
Lots of wood has to be chopped, and unfortunately Rick gets stuck with that detail. In an ironic sort of way, most of the wood we used came from an old maple that we used to tap that perished last year.
Before we can even get started boiling, there has to be a good base fire going to get the pan nice and hot. This is always a test of patience (which I personally have an issue with, but I’m working on it) and will eat up the first hour of the day.
But while that is going there is always other prep that has to be done, like hauling all the sap to the boil area…
And getting it strained for the first time.
When we have the first 25 gallons in the pans, the waiting game really gets going.
Which entails checking the fire every half hour to make sure it’s going hot enough to boil the sap down. My thighs got a huge workout from all the squatting.
Since the weather is turning warmer (YAY!! ) it signaled the end of sap collection and all the buckets and taps had to be removed from the trees. All that snow we received a week ago was now melting creating a mud pit that we had to walk through to get them all.
What a mess!
But it was well worth the long hours and muscle aches and general exhaustion when we did the math and discovered that our final tally for the season was just shy of 3 gallons. Actually, it was 2 gallons, 3 quarts and half a pint.
I like the “just shy of 3 gallons” total. Just rolls of the tongue a little easier.