March 20, 2011

Maple Tapping '11

This is our inaugural year of maple syrup production on Dog Hill.  I purchased a kit from Tap My Trees last year but due to my very pregnant state at the time and John's desire to hurry and finish a project before the birth it never happened.  So the sap buckets collected dust for a year.

Alex was very eager to start and so we put in the taps at the beginning of this month.  In the first few days we got a small amount, enough to make a 1/4 cup of maple sugar, and then the temperature dropped.  Finally, this past week was wonderfully warm and the sap was flowing.  Unfortunately, I'm ridiculously stubborn and wanted to try judging the doneness of the syrup by look instead of being smart and getting out a thermometer.  Hence the three jars above of crystallized maple goo.

It doesn't matter though, it's been a tremendously fun learning experience.  In all we've collected enough maple sap to make over three pints of goo, which I think would translate to a little more syrup if I could master the last half an hour of sap boiling.  Now if I can just keep the kids (and myself) out of these jars so they last a little while, I may cook with some and use the rest to make maple sugar candies or some maple candied ginger.  
One of our sap buckets
Penny likes peeking
Perfect was helping too
I received no compensation from Tap My Trees but I do get some amount if you purchase through the Amazon links below.