This was a busy weekend for us! We spent Saturday and Sunday outside working on fixing up our driveway, carrying 5 gallon buckets of sap out of the woods to our boiling station and finally fixing up our boiling station!
50 degree days in March are always welcomed by us! It gives us the ability to get a head start on the season. It helps melt the snow, thaw the ground, dry the mud and lets the sap flow! We carried over 40 gallons of sap from our tapped trees out to the boiling station. The general rule of thumb is 40 to 1, meaning 40 gallons of sap is equal to 1 gallon of maple syrup! We collect our sap with 5 gallon bucks and then carry it to where it needs to be. This way does require a bit more physical labor, but we can get a cleaner end product using no chemicals. Another way to do it is collect sap via tubing and run downhill to a collection point. The issue with this is that those tubes have to be cleaned with chemicals, which we prefer to stay away from.
We started Saturday's work with trying to thaw out the previous boiling spot so we could dig it out a better spot. Well, that didn't go quite as planned.. We ran into 2 inches of thawed mud and then frozen solid ground. After taking a minute to look at the situation we decided it best to move the boiling station over in order to create a fresh clean spot.
We had purchased new concrete blocks to reconstruct it all. With our new station we should be able to boil roughly 100 gallons of sap simultaneously.
Finally the fun got started! We had everything set up to start boiling the sap! Having a fire large enough to boil the quantity of sap we do requires a monumental amount of firewood. While the fire blazes on and the sap boils we make trip after trip in and out of the woods collecting fuel for the fire.
We have tapped more trees this year than any year before and we have a better boiling setup than any previous year. We anticipate this to be our best maple syrup season yet! We look forward to having some final product soon to share with all of you!