Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Sweet Weekend

We spent this past weekend at my Dad's house making maple syrup. I snapped a few photos to share with you. I am making them small (hopefully to help with download time for anyone with dial-up) but you can click on them to see them bigger if you like (hopefully).

This is the sugar house. My parents built it in the late 80's. It is about a 10 minute walk into the woods to get to it. Nice and peaceful.

Most of the trees were already tapped but we added a few more and re-tapped some of the trees that were not dripping. After the hole is drilled a metal spigot is hammered into the hole so that the sap can flow into a bucket.

If you are lucky you get a bucket that looks like this.... Overflowing with sap. Only a couple of the 40 - 50 trees we had tapped flowed like this.

Any sap in there?

Yup, time to collect it.

All of the collected sap gets strained through this old milk strainer and stored in a 50 gallon bucket. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. We collected about 20 gallons on Saturday.

And then we boil! The pan on top of this stove, that my Dad made, is filled with sap and the boiling begins. As it evaporates more sap is added until everything we collected is in the pan. The boiling continues until there is only about a gallon or so of sap (almost syrup at this point) left in the pan. That is poured off and taken home to finish boiling down in a smaller pot until it is syrup. Then the hot syrup is put up in mason jars and sealed.

In the morning you can enjoy you hard work on pancakes while you look out the window at a scene like this in the backyard. Neat ha?

I hope you enjoyed my little sugaring photos. I will try to find my desk and come up with something crafty very soon. Thanks for stopping by!


Tracey said...

Molly thanks for the peek into your weekend! I remember doing this (on a much smaller scale) in elementary school. Very cool experience.

Julie Masse said...

Very cool pics Molly!!! We tapped our huge tree this year for the first time and just finished boiling down about a gallon of syrup - YUM!! Can't wait for next year! :) Your dad's set-up looks so neat!

Julia Aston said...

What great pics Molly! I can just smell that great maple syrup!! How fun that you get to participate in this!

Karen Cheetham said...

We haven't done maple syrup in a couple of years...makes me sorry that we did not collect it this year! Great photos and it looks like you had lots of fun! Thanks for sharing Molly!

Merry said...

What fantastic photos...a world away from me..in the tropics Australia. Thanks for sharing. Always thought maple syrup was brown.

joslyn said...

whoa! that is so cool.

Jill, N Ireland said...

Fantastic to find out how Maple Syrup is made. I even had to show your great pics to my children. We live in Northern Ireland and when we visited Canada a couple of years ago they just loved Maple Syrup. TFS!