I think today is the day that Maple Syrup Season begins in Maine. It’s weeks late, but better than never I suppose.
When I woke up this morning, I had every intention of tapping some trees. We’ve had a few-day-run of warm weather (mid-40s) so I figured it was go time. I got caught up in some stuff and completely forgot about the trees. Then, good ol’ Steve sent me an electronic message telling me that he’s got four gallons already today. Right then, I told myself that no one, no one is going to humiliate me like that. Especially when I’ve got the maple syrup gear sitting here ready to go. I’ve got five spiles and four buckets. I thought I had another bucket, but we’re using that for something else. The only thing I don’t have is a good way to boil down the sap. Right now, I’m doing the math in my head: how much will I pay in electricity to boil 36 gallons of sap into one versus the cost of a gallon of Maine’s finest Maple syrup? We’ll see.
I tapped four trees. Once I hit the inch and a half mark and took the bit out of the tree, the sap started running. And it ran strong. You’ll see in the pics below. Also, I tasted some of it and I have to tell you, maple sap is sweet. I can’t wait to boil this stuff down and make some sick-ass pancakes.
Okay, here are the pictures of my current Maple sap collection operation. I’ll take more as I go along.
This is the first hole I drilled. As I mentioned above, I drilled about an inch and a half deep. Also, you can tell it’s the correct type of Maple tree because of the bark. It’s rough and dark. And it’s got lichen on it.
This is the same hole, but with a spile in it and a bucket attached. As you can see, the sap is flowing nicely. It’s about 45 degrees outside right now.
And this is my current setup. If this goes well, I’ll get more gear for next year. If I eventually acquire a wood burning stove, I’m going to be swimming in syrup.
By the way, we still have about 2 1/2 feet of snow outside. Even though it’s been warm, this stuff still hasn’t melted. I can’t believe I was falling through the snow back in the Maple forest and it was up to my thighs. What a pain. I’m not looking forward to lugging the buckets inside. Perhaps Steve can come over and do that for me.