Late February/early March is the time we get busy with tapping Maple trees in the Northeast, depending on what the weather’s doing. In order to have a productive run with sap, to transform into sweet, sticky, amber syrup, you need freezing temps at night and thawing temps during the day.
Due to a bunch of storms and a really cold snap that hung around, we waited until March to tap our Maple trees here on the farm.
Our youngest, Nathaniel, drills the holes for the quills/taps. We used to use a hand-powered drill, but now a battery-operated drill speeds up the job.
Our older son, Jonathan, hammers in the taps and adjusts the line.
My DH makes some adjustments to the main sap pipeline.
As always, Duke find a comfortable spot from which he can supervise the work!
We also use traditional pails and quills to collect sap from our maples.
On this warm, spring-like day, the snow is quickly melting and the sap is dripping practically in a constant stream, almost like a slow-dripping faucet.
When the buckets are full of sap, we collect the precious liquid and haul it to the Sugar House, where we cook it down into syrup. When you see steam and smoke escaping, you know the wonderful transformation is taking place!
The long process from sap to syrup takes place in the wood-fired evaporater. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of sweet maple syrup!
It’s a long process that requires lots of man-power and wood-power and you must be patient! When we finish a fresh batch, there’s nothing better than to sample the sweet stuff over hot pancakes or johnnycake!
A stroll around the farm just isn’t complete without a stop to say hi to our newest addition, Annabelle. She’s due to deliver a foal in August, which we’re very excited about!
I also came upon Nathaniel using his mini-excavator to clean up Annabelle’s pasture, making more room for her and her friends. They’re enlarging the fenced-in pasture space, complete with new fence posts, so Nate’s excavator was perfect for pulling out the old posts. I just know that Annabelle and her baby will love their new space!
To see who else is strolling on this lovely March day, stop by the Quiet Country House.