Maple Sugaring

a lot of coffee and syrup

We had another busy weekend with the kids here to help make syrup.  A lot of coffee was consumed during the sugaring process...lol!  

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We had a huge success with not only the amount of syrup we bottled, but the quality of the syrup we bottled.

Not sure how much more boiling we’ll do as we have quite a bit of syrup bottled this season, we just never know how a season will go.  


another good day

So far we have bottled 2.75 gallons of syrup and it’s all been of the golden grade, very light in color and taste...YUM!!

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Instead of finishing off in the house all the time we have set up a spot to finish off outside on our back deck.  Mr checking to see if we have syrup.

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Here we are filtering the syrup, you can see the sugar sand down in the filter bag.  We had a great hot boil today, so not sure why we got sugar sand this is definitely a first for us.

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It’s been a slow start to our sugaring season this year.  I meant to take my camera out to the sugar bush this evening when we gathered to get some photos, but there’s always tomorrow for that.  More company coming this weekend for sugaring, so it’s going to be another busy time for us. 


let it snow

We did get to make some syrup this past weekend, even though the temps were perfect for the sap to be running but we didn't get too much sap in the buckets but managed to get a gallon of syrup.

Our daughter and her boyfriend came from Texas to so some sugaring and despite the fact we didn't get that much sap we were able to gather, boil and bottle syrup.  Our daughter from Illinois and her family came for the night and day because our grandson had a hockey game in Madison.

Watching the boil

A&L

Grandgirls

Jared

Botteling

Catchingthedrip

First batch

 It was predicted for snow today and guess what...we got it. Hopefully it will reset the sap to run again. 

So I say let it snow!


it’s that time of year

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Sugaring is here, well almost here, the sap is running slowly. I love this time of year as it’s the really sure sign that spring is just around the corner.  It’s also that time of year to start to pull out the seed catalogs and plan what will be in the garden and what seeds I will start in the house.  My favorite season is fall/autumn, but I’m really coming to love spring. 


4-H

4H-4

4H-2

4H-8

4H-3

4H-5

4H-10

4H-6

4H-9

At the beginning of March we had the local 4-H boosters over to tour our small sugar bush operation. Our son and dil and the grands were here to help with sugaring as they do every year and were so kind to stay and help when the 4-H club was here. 

We showed them how we did everything from tapping the trees and they could try tapping if they wanted and some did.  They all went down into the sugar bush to gather sap and came back to see how the boiling process went.  Our son manned the boil so Mr. could be with the 4-H group.  We showed them everything, all the way to the bottling of the syrup.  Unfortunately I didn't have Mr. take photos of us bottling, nor did I head into the bush to take photos of them gathering, I was manning the boiling inside the house. 

The kids and adults seemed to have enjoyed it and they all went home with a sample bottle of syrup and some spiles if they wanted to try tapping some trees at home.


it started with a snowstorm

After getting back from Texas we went looking for some more sap buckets and found some that an Amish man was selling for a cheap price.  Seems like most people and now the Amish are doing away with sap buckets and going to tubing.  Anyway, after getting the buckets we drove through the hills on our way home and found this old place.  We couldn't quite tell if was actually lived in, it almost looked abandoned but then you can see the decorations on the fence.  This old log home was awesome, the corners of the logs were dovetailed and just simply beautiful.  This was back in February and there was snow on the ground in the valleys and on the ridges.

Loghome

Then it started to warm up.  It seems like the sugaring season is backwards, usually we get the darker syrup at the end of the season when the weather starts to get warmer, but we had the warmer temps in the middle of the season so when we gathered the sap from the buckets the sap was warm.  Now, the temps are more like when it's the beginning of the season with the temps being absolutely perfect.  And, we gathered over 150 gallons of sap on Sunday so there will be more boiling this week.  We made this past weekend 3.625 gallons of what we call golden amber delicious syrup.  The two boils before this we got darker syrup which is fine I use it for cooking/baking and now to make maple sugar.

Maplesyrup

We got what we call a sugar snow that froze and reset the sap run again.  We are definitely not done with sugaring and it all started with a snowstorm.


it's march

The weather has changed a few times.  No calves born yet, at least not live ones, our neighbor had a calf born too early and it didn't make it, that was sad to hear.  Even though they are not our cattle we see them pretty much everyday and we have gotten kind of attached to them.

Cows

Snowytrees

Snowypines

Can you believe we are still making syrup?  The sap is still running, slowly but still running.  The 4H group came and had a wonderful time, I'll try and do a post about that.

Sugar bush

I've been wanting to make maple sugar since we starting making maple syrup.  So when our son and dil and the grands came we made some.  I thought I'd give the maple sugar a try and looked for a maple cake recipe and Martha Stewart had a maple cake recipe on her blog.

Maple sugar

Maplecake

I like a bit of cake with my whip cream :)  Instead of frosting this cake I thought I would put whip cream on it...YUM!

Cakeandcream

I don't know about you but I'm ready to see some flowers blooming again.


seasons over

The sap run is over and a total of 980 gallons of sap was gathered and 16.9 gallons of syrup was made.  It seemed a bit early to be tapping trees and we actually thought for a brief second about waiting.  Boy am I glad we didn't wait.  The temperature now is way too warm for the sap to be running and what is coming out of the trees is not good.  So, it's closed up for the season or unless we get a sugar snow then we might boil again.

First syrup

I have not been in my sewing room other than making an Easter dress for one of the granddaughters and it fit perfectly.  I haven't done any smocking in so long, I'm glad I didn't forget how to do it.

Smocked dress

I started this knitting project back in August on our trip west for our daughters wedding, I'm finally picking it up again.

Knitting

I feel like I've missed so much on blogland.  I didn't mean to be gone for so long from the blog, but it was busy around here gathering and making syrup and company came to help so that kept me away.


it's that time of year again

Buckets

Sugaring has started.  We have gathered so far 230 gallons of sap.  The weather has been perfect so far with this first run.  It is a bit early I'd say but we'll take it.  The snow is melting fast and you could say it's getting into mud season.


bottled syrup

Maple syrup

We are still boiling sap, but the yield this year so far is half from previous years.  I'm guessing the later start to the sugaring season is contributing to that, at least for us.  This year we got those cute tins to bottle some of the syrup in.

The snow is starting to really melt and the temps are starting to climb again, so I think the sugaring season just might come to and end, but who knows.

Sorry I'm not visiting just been too busy.  I hope to catch up with you all when sugaring is done.