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Month: April 2009

Not Recommended: Drinking Rafter Sap

Things get a little punchy in the sugarhouse after a few hours of boiling. It’s not that infrequent that we wind up overfilling our concentrate tank, allowing it to foam over and start dripping down on us from the rafters. Invariably someone is square under it when that happens. But on a hot, 60-degree day […]

Voice from Past as the Maple Syrup Season Slows

In maple sugaring, the equipment that claims the cruelest name is the “extractor,” a device that sounds like it preys on maple trees. What it really does is separate out the sap flowing down toward a vacuum system and puts it into a storage tank without interrupting the flow of vacuum to the tree. [The […]

Reader Question: Filtering Maple Syrup?

A reader: I just started sugaring this year. I have looked at library and have a “maple mentor” but can’t seem to filter out the sand on the bottom on my own. One book from library said to make filter/cheesecloth hot with water before filtering and then filter/can. I did this with one batch and […]

Maple Syrup Moonscape

Oldtimers down here refer to a “maple moon,” the full moon closest to the harvest season. They hold that the sap really breaks only once the maple moon comes. I even heard one talk about a gravitational effect on the trees. I have a lot of respect for a lot of what these oldtimers say, […]

Late in the Season, Getting on Evening

It’s been a couple days since we last boiled, as the sap flow has slowed with the warming weather, and along with it our maple syrup production. The boil we did do, though, was a doozy, with steam coming out in clouds, the wind taking it in all directions, once sending it down Tucker Hill […]

Slow Boiling Day in a Warming Thetford

[Bosco Take Break for a Moment] Thetford, Vermont is a strange and wonderful place, filled with interesting people and creatures. Over on the other side of town, up on Houghton Hill, there is a dog named Bosco who makes maple syrup with buckets. We visited him during a slow time last week, taking a few […]


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