After 18 hours.....

We had a bit of delay in our sugaring operation--we had tapped some red maples so had to re-tap. A friend of ours came over on Friday and helped us figure out the right trees. Now we have trees with yellow ribbons all over our woods :)

There's lots of's my man in his element!

It was a cold day and we had a hard time getting a boil on the sap. After 13 hours we stopped and went to bed. In the morning I boiled for another 4 hours when SUDDENLY it was syrup.

I caught it before it turned to hard rock candy. WOW is it good. Look what 10 gallons of sap gave us. Syrup is $63/gallon right now, so I'm inspired to keep going.

It is incredibly delicious. Can't wait to make more. It makes all the mud, wind, and warm/cold temperatures seem worth it. So....a sugar house or a chicken coop? Which to build next?

Crescent Moon  – (March 23, 2009 at 11:44 AM)  

That is so cool! Thanks for sharing pictures of the process, I've been looking at them with my son to show him how syrup is made.

Jennifer  – (March 23, 2009 at 12:33 PM)  

Oh, I'm so glad you posted this! When we went to Middlebury, we had friends who sugared, and we would go to the sap house and ride the sap wagon and collect all day and boil all day and night - huge batches. I've always wanted to be able to do it again, but alas, not too many sap producing maples in southern california!
Enjoy - will you be doing some sugar on snow?

Sarah  – (March 23, 2009 at 12:42 PM)  

Sugaring really puts you at the whims of the season--the weather has to be just right. You never know how long it will take for the sap to run (or to boil). Today the sap is not running. Tomorrow if probably will. We might do sugar on snow if we happen to get syrup when the kids are home or awake. This is only the 3rd time we've sugared, so we aren't experts at the timing, etc!

Anonymous –   – (March 23, 2009 at 12:44 PM)  

Chickens give all year round with a lot less effort although not as romantic as a vermont sugarhouse!

Sarah  – (March 23, 2009 at 12:53 PM)  

Chickens poop. Need I say more? Actually, we'll probably end up with a coop soon.

Lisa Anne  – (March 23, 2009 at 1:29 PM)  

Wow! Getting the sugar house going is a lot of work; we have one with all the equipment, but still have not got it going, hopefully next year...(it's on the "list").

Having a chicken coop is a great experience and something that can be done relatively quickly, low-input with quick return. Chicken poop can be directly added to your garden without composting (if not going for organic certification) as a great fertilizer (high in phosphorus though.

We will give a good tour of chicken coops, sugar house, root cellar, greenhouse, etc. when you come (??).

Dawn  – (March 23, 2009 at 2:57 PM)  

I loved reading about this. No wonder syrup is so expensive!

sarah  – (March 23, 2009 at 3:42 PM)  

You are so lucky to do this! It's like something out of a storybook :-)

em  – (March 23, 2009 at 4:13 PM)  

Lovely to see your pictures. Brings back memories from a visit to New Hampshire in April. I learnt there that you can use any maples so I tried it in a very small scale with the only kind we have over here (Acer platanoides). It tasted slightly different, but not much, than the syrup from sugar maples. But we can't get the right equipments here so it's hard to tap on a larger scale. I just wonder why we don't do it here, as our climate is perfect for it.....

Maribeth  – (March 23, 2009 at 4:16 PM)  

I love the photo of the long walk up the hill with buckets. Beautiful. I have been fortunate that my family has always had a sugar house, in some configuration or another. I can see the added complexity of sugaring without one. Your jars of syrup look gorgeous. I sense some tasty pancakes (waffles, french toast...) in your future!

The Magic Onions  – (March 23, 2009 at 7:36 PM)  

You are so LUCKY... it looks Soooooo nice! Amazing how we go along not even knowing how much hard work goes into everything we have. I will savour my maple syrup just that much more now I know how it's harvested.

Tammy  – (March 24, 2009 at 12:17 AM)  

We sure did love our chickens...I'd go with the chicken coop idea. :)

That syrup looks heavenly!

jenny  – (March 24, 2009 at 10:25 AM)  

ooh, how much fun! I wish I could make some syrup!

Joy  – (March 24, 2009 at 10:40 AM)  

Gorgeous photos! It looks absolutely delicious. :)

Quiltin' Mama  – (March 24, 2009 at 2:31 PM)  

Sugaring is not for the faint hearted is it? We are on our 4th batch this year - the first 2 we missed that magical moment of Sap to Syrup and had wonderful yummy sugar the first time and equally wonderful Maple cream on the second, third is a charm and we have jars just like yours of syrup- ours are a dark amber though. I like that sugaring slows your life down, you need to give it your focused attention least you not boil all you efforts over the top of the pan. Gets you in tune with exactly what the weather is doing.
Syrup on Vanilla Ice Cream - heavenly . . . Enjoy!

Penny  – (March 24, 2009 at 6:41 PM)  

Well done!!

What a perfect way to welcome Spring :)

Simmy  – (March 25, 2009 at 1:40 PM)  

We're so envious of your making maple syrup. We've only ever read about it in the little house books.

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