Sunday, March 3, 2013

Learning and an unexpected surprise

I can't convey, through typing, just how happy I was yesterday as we stood around a pot of boiling sap from maple trees.  I felt like a kid again, watching the bubbling action and knowing that this was how it's been for ages.  Well, not exactly, because our ancestors didn't use a propane turkey fryer.  But any open flame produces heat and if it's hot enough to boil sap, syrup is the result :)

10 gallons of sap  (We had just added the liquid from another bucket, so the boiling stopped until the temperature rose again.)

It was cold yesterday so the sap wasn't running.  I tried to catch a droplet in this photo but my camera finger timing was off.

These are the terrific buckets, lids, and spouts from  Everyone was pleased with them.  Thank you again to Wendy, Deus Ex Machina, and for this terrific giveaway!
In past years, my nephew has made sap beer from the maples in his yard with just a bucket or two, treating this as a small hobby.  But I think I can talk him into expanding just a little by asking neighbors about their trees ;)   Now for the unexpected surprise.....
As the sap starts to boil but before it turns to syrup, there's a clear liquid that tastes wonderful!  According to the information in this booklet, Native Americans and other cultures would drink spring sap to cleanse the body and gain nutrients lost over a long, hard winter.  I'm glad to have learned this sweet secret.  And I've added a few maple trees onto the requirements for my next homestead.
Have a sweet Sunday!


Maria said...

Oh, I love much syrup did you get? Are you still tapping?

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Hi Maria,
It's still ongoing. Those frigid winds we had the past two days slowed the sap running in the trees!
Sap to syrup is approximately 40:1, so 10 gallons of sap will yield about 1 quart of syrup. The "season" lasts a few weeks, but if Mother Nature gives us an unexpected warm spell it will be cut short!
It's a terrific learning experience....and tasty, too :)

MYstory of HIStory said...

What fun! We're planning to head to VT later this month for their Statewide Maple Syrup "Open House" : ) There is nothing quite like real Maple Syrup : ) Enjoy!!

Wendy said...

We boiled our first three and a half pints of syrup this weekend. It's so incredibly delicious! I'm hoping for a very long and prolific season this year.