Maple Syrup Time

This year I decided to tap 4 of my maple trees to collect the sap for making maple syrup.  I actually tapped them about 30 years ago but decided at that time, that they needed to grow for a few more years yet.  Well, I guess 30 years is a ‘few more years’ enough isn’t it!  I stopped in at the local Home Hardware store where I had got my tap spiles last time and sure enough they were in the same spot on those old wooden shelves.  I love this store because you can still buy 1 nail if that’s all you need…..  When the outdoor temperature is just above 0 celsius (32F) during the daytime and the nighttime temperatures dip below zero, then it’s the perfect time to tap maple trees.

Buckets clean and ready to go

Buckets clean and ready to go

My son Darin and granddaughter Livi were coming over around noon so I got all my supplies ready:  I bleached out the honey buckets I had bought for a buck from Bulk Barn last fall as well as the spiles.  I charged up the cordless drill battery, found the correct drill bit, got the hammer out, duct tape, and camera of course.

We trudged down through the snow, dodging doggy ‘landmines’ of poop, to Livi’s favourite swinging Maple tree with the rope on it.  She carried two buckets while I carried the rest lol.  Darin drilled the first hole and Livi was totally amazed and excited when it started dripping right away.  She was in a hurry to get the spile into the hole so we didn’t lose any precious sap, but she didn’t want any help hammering the tap in.  Darin finally had to help her aim the hammer abit…..

Livi helping tap the trees

Livi helping tap the trees

Voila, sap started to drip!  Livi was in a real hurry to get the bucket under the dripping sap and not waste a single drop.  She was as excited as I was to see that liquid gold dripping into the bucket.  We all had a taste – Livi said it was sour lol!  It tasted like barely sweetened water to me.  I didn’t want to ruin the buckets by drilling holes in them for the lids, so I just duct taped them on.

Livi inspecting the sap

Livi inspecting the sap

I told Livi that I had to let the maple sap drip into the bucket then collect it every evening and when we had a couple of gallons, I would boil it down to make maple syrup.  I might do some of this outside on my wood-fired chimnea fireplace since it gives off alot of moisture.  But I was going to keep a pot boiling on my wood cookstove whenever I have a fire going anyway – when it’s been slightly above 0 degrees celsius (32F) and sunny outside, so I haven’t been making a fire in the morning since the house heats up just fine anyway.   It takes about 40 litres of sap to get one litre of maple syrup.  I’ll be happy with whatever I end up with!  It’s really just a project for me…….. a sweet project.

So I guess Spring has really sprung………. tonight we even turn the clocks ahead one hour.

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Betty
    Mar 09, 2013 @ 17:17:21

    mmmm… home-made maple syrup… I bet that will be scrump-del-i-icious!!… Perhaps you can bring me a tablespoon of it when you come to visit sometime!!… (since it takes 80 litres to make 1 litre…I’m sure you’re not going to be giving too much of it away!!)… LOL

    Love ya sista…
    Bet..xo

    Reply

    • grammomsblog
      Mar 09, 2013 @ 17:31:22

      I might only get a tablespoon! lol But if there’s more, I’ll bring you some Sis…..
      I double checked the Ministry of Natural Resources and it’s 40:1, not 80. Whew!

      Reply

  2. thatoldschoolgirl
    Mar 09, 2013 @ 17:20:19

    Love the pictures and your helper. I hope you get more then 80 litres, enough to share 🙂

    Reply

  3. anitapreciouspearl
    Mar 09, 2013 @ 18:55:51

    I am looking forward to trying this sometime too – maybe next year 🙂 What a sweet little helper!

    Reply

  4. Marty Mellway
    Mar 10, 2013 @ 00:21:54

    Awesome, I always wanted to try that!

    Reply

  5. Robin Mellway
    Mar 10, 2013 @ 17:07:45

    I remember tapping the trees and making syrup – great fun! Awesome that you’re doing it again!

    Reply

  6. Trackback: Making Maple Syrup | Grammomsblog

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