Maple Sugaring

sugaring 2015

Well, it's that time of year again, it's maple sugaring time!  The temps were in the 40's but it was still cool out in the sugar bush.

Drilling

As soon as Mr pulled the drill out of the tree it was already running down the tree.

Dripping

Putting in the taps

By the time the spout got tapped into the tree it was already dripping.

Here it comes

Sap bucket

We got 91 spouts in the trees and still have a few more to do, but the temps were dropping and 91 was enough for the day.


another week

Usa

Cabinet

Sadie and mr

Days batch

Another week is slipping away.

I keep thinking of places I want to travel to, and there are so many places in the United States that I want to see.

I love finding items for our house and tho I cleaned up this cabinet, I'm wondering if I should paint the bottom half or just leave it.  I do love the worn out look.  What do you think?

The dog and cat still amaze me.

Sugaring is done and all that's left is the clean-up.  We ended up with over 19 gallons of syrup, should be enough for us and giving away.

Maybe I'll take another look at the globe...I keep hearing "Go West" :)


sugaring time

3 buckets

Path 1

Buckets 2

Path 2

Shoveling

Path to house

The trees are tapped and now we'll see how much sap we get this season and how much syrup we bottle up.

Some of the paths that Mr plowed are starting to melt and some he's needing to shovel the snow.  The snow is deep in some places but the RTV gets around in the sugar bush pretty good, tho we did get stuck in one area but Mr had a winch put on the RTV when we bought it and it pulled us out.

The temps for the upcoming days are going to be perfect for the sap to run.

Waiting all year for sugaring it felt good to be out in the bush again.


i've been somewhat preoccupied

Y'All know we had a new grandchild, so I took a road trip over to lower Michigan where our son and daughter-in-law live.  I did what I love to do, I cooked, I baked, and I snuggled our newest grandchild.

Baby A

Today is our last day for making syrup, after today we will be over our total from the previous years, despite the late start and not many days of boilingMr put in 51 more taps and that seemed to help a lot with getting more sap.  Half of our crop was golden and the other half was dark maple.  I hope to get back to blogging again, I seem to have put it on the back burner the past week, but that just couldn't have been helped, I was simply busy doing some fun things :)

2013 crop

Babies and maple syrup, both pure sweetness.


boiling time

Well, here it is, our boiling area.  I so can't wait to get our sugar shack built, but first things first around here.  This boil is from the other day when we gathered all the frozen sap from the trees.  This was a boil from heck.  Mr was trying out his new evaporator pan and things just weren't going too well.

Boiling

BUT, the good news is we did get some syrup out of the whole mess.

First batch 2013

And...It ended up being top grade at that.  Mr tested the sugar content in the sap and it was at 5% which means the sap had a high sugar content.  Of course I had to make breakfast for dinner just so we could have some of the new syrup.  Mr did think it was a bit sweeter than our last years batch, but I really liked it.

Batch one 2013

 Linking with Madge for Rurality Blog Hop.


gathering the sap

Wow, it's been a month since we tapped the trees.  The weather kept changing on us, when we thought the temps were going to be just right, it would change, and it kept doing that for a whole month here.

Loading the buckets

Compared to the previous years it's getting late it seems to be tapping trees.  The buckets are full of sap and frozen sap.  We're going to boil it any way and see what we get.  I'm sure it's going to be a very dark syrup and that's okay with me because I will use it for baking.  We not only use the traditional sap buckets to gather the sap, we also found that these buckets from DQ work just as great.  Our daughters mother-in-law works at a DQ and would save these buckets for us.  There's Mr's deer stand, it could use a bit of TLC.

Deer stand

The snow is making it very difficult to drive into the sugar bush, the path is getting very icy to drive on.  We need to get some chains for the tractor tires and that should help.

Getting the trailer

Sadie is loving it now that we are outside again.  It's been a long winter so far and all three of us are happy to be working outside, despite the snow that is still on the ground.

Sadie girl

Well, we'll see what kind of syrup we get tomorrow, dark or light it's going to be very yummy.


we've got it down pat

Jim has his end all figured out and so do I.  After the sap boils in the evaporator it gets brought in the house where I finish the boiling process.

Boiling down

I test it with a hydrometer to get it to the correct temperature, then we strain it and put it in hot bottles.

Hot test

Yesterdays boil yielded a gallon of syrup.

First batch of 2012

We'll see if we get the number we got last season which was just over 20 gallons of syrup.


:: today

Yesterday I had to head to Illinois to see the dentist.  I like the one I go to so I don't mind the drive.  I left at 9:00 a.m. and got back about 7:00 p.m.  It was a quick trip, but I got to see some of the kids while I was there.

Yellow light

One good thing about going there I was able to pick up some angle iron that Jim needed for the evaporator, so that today we could start to boil.

Stove pipe

Pouring in the sap

I'm organized with my part and now I'm just waiting for the sap to boil down.

Oh man, I can't wait to taste that first taste of the season.