Making Maple Syrup
Did you know that towards the end of winter, once temperatures at night are still below freezing but above 40 degrees during the day, maple sap begins to flow? I had no idea. At the beginning of March, Peter decided to tap some trees on the property and accepted my offer to help set the spiles and connect the lines that would carry the sap from the trees to the barrels. After two weeks, the barrels were nearly full so it was decided it was time to start boiling. It takes nearly 40 gallons of sap to produce 1 gallon of syrup. To make it more fun, it was decided to have a sugaring potluck for friends that wanted to participate in the process. Peter converted a barrel stove he had previously built to accommodate a boiling pan and spent many hours monitoring it. The syrup was finished on the stove in the house and brought to a temperature of 219 degrees Fahrenheit. It then was left in jars so the sugar sand, which is from the high mineral content of maple sap (calcium, potassium & magnesium), settled to the bottom. It was so interesting to experience how simple it can be to make maple syrup but surprising at how time intensive it can be.