Friday, February 27, 2009
More Adventures in DIY
Say... What's he doing there with that drill, a tree, some buckets and a curious 3 year old?
Maple tapping, that's what!
(I just love that my resourceful husband is so willing to try these kind of "old-fashioned" projects!)
We have four beautiful maple trees in our yard. They make wonderful shade in the summer, keeping our yard and house so cool and pleasant. We really love them, but I admit that sometimes we begrudge them the space they take up on our small property. We're really into producing our own food, but not much will grow in the deep shade under these big trees. So this year, we're putting them to work. They may be older than we are, but they still have to earn their keep. We figure that our four trees should easily be able to provide us with enough enough syrup for our own use, and maybe even more.
Many of our Amish neighbors are tapping their maples and making syrup now, so one of them came over this morning to show us how to do it. He and Nathan quickly set the taps and now we (and I use the term "we" loosely, as PW would say) just have to empty the buckets every day. We'll be taking the sap down to the Amish neighbors house where they'll be cooking large quantities throughout the "run" as it's called.
It's amazing how fast the sap actually flows. As soon as the hole was drilled, the sap (which tastes like sweet water-- I tasted it!) starts dribbling down the tree.
It takes 30-40 gallons of sap to get a gallon of syrup. But we could get several gallons of sap each day from each tree for as long as the run goes on, which I'm told can be up to a month depending on the weather (freezing at night and just above freezing during the day is ideal).
I am very excited about this undertaking!
Jonah tagged along with grocery bags in his boots because he got them wet and muddy yesterday. He didn't like the bags, but it was better than the alternative, so he put up with it.
I can tell that he, too, is dreaming of summer when he can play in the sandbox and pool. Barefoot, instead of wearing bags on his feet.
So now I know that spring really is around the corner. I can tell by the buckets hanging on my trees!