Eddie and I spent an hour in the apple orchard yesterday after lunch picking apples from one tree. They’re huge, sweet/tart, white fruit and beautiful.
Eddie and I peeled two buckets full this morning and I got 28 quarts of apples canned today.
We could not have picked a better time to start tapping the maple trees. Saturday morning after feeding the cattle and cleaning up from breakfast we got started. It was clear, sunny and still a chill in the air. First we gathered the bucket and cleaned them and then we cleaned the 210 gallon water tank.
From here we gathered the portable drill, wood bits, hammer and taps and headed for the maple trees in the yard. From there we tapped the trees behind the garage and then went to the mansion and tapped the tree that we know has been in the family since the 1800’s. She is still producing and we tapped with six buckets on her and from there went to our daughter’s house on the farm and tapped two trees at her house. In total we nine trees in all and as tonight at 7:00 p.m. the tank is full. We’ll hold it in the tank in the garage until Friday morning. It will stay ice cold in the garage.
These trees are not being damaged. The one inch hole heals within a few weeks and as I said before the tree at the mansion is in a photo we have of the family back in the mid-1800’s and it’s still living.
Around 1:30 Saturday our son joined us and he was kept busy emptying the buckets into the tank and was glad to have the ATV for collecting. He won’t be still long enough for Mom to take his picture. But sometimes we have to do what we can and here’s a picture helping at the sugar house in years past.
By Saturday night we had 100 gallons in the tank and the high temperature at the farm on Saturday was 49*. Sunday morning we got up to 27* temps, the buckets were running over with ice and the sap had even pushed out of the top of the tee.
On Sunday we got another 75 gallons and the sap has slowed a little. The temperatures got up to 52* and at 9:30 p.m. it was still 49*. For the sap to run really good the temps MUST get below freezing at night.
Today hubby filled up the tank and the trees have slowed down immensely but the tank is full of 210 gallons of pure sugar maple sap. The cooking will begin on Friday and finish up on Saturday around noon if all goes well.
Here’s a few of today’s photos:
Hopefully more pictures of the process when completed on Saturday!!
It is almost sugar time. Hubby announced this afternoon that if the weather cooperates we’ll tap the trees week after next. I wanted to share with you some pictures we took at the Highland Maple Festival a couple years ago. This event is a two weekend all about maple syrup fun time. The pictures I’m going to share are from one the operations we visited that work on a much, much larger scale than we do. Here we go and hope you enjoy the ride:
We drove for miles and miles that day and found one family that makes the syrup, taps the trees, and made it fun for the guests viewing the process but the rest of the journey was looking at miles and miles of plastic tubing running through the woods and into big tanks. Trucks emptying those tanks and taking it to a main processing building where it was cooked off in a big evaporating tank heated by propane. It was all so commercial and kind of took the fun out of the entire process. I think we’ll stick with our little sugar house and making enough to keep our friends and family happy while making enough money from it to pay for hubby’s time making it work. Hope to see you in a couple weeks at the sugar house licking our lips!!!
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