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Category: Collecting Sap

Tough Production Year for Maple Syrup

Maple syrup producers throughout the U.S. have been complaining of a very short season, with the high temperatures first preventing the needed freezing nights and then, eventually, prodding the maple trees to bud out and stop producing usable maple sap. We’re at one quarter of a normal year’s crop right now, which would be a […]

Double-Tapping To Suss Out New Spiles

This year we’re replacing the vast majority of our “health spouts” with the new valved sap adapters, in the hopes that they’ll extend the season and give us the gift of additional maple syrup. Being the skeptical sort, we’re taking 30 or 40 trees and double-tapping them so that we can see if indeed the […]

Maple Trees Down Due to Wind

I usually find a good excuse to be late with my line cleaning, but this year’s is a good one. Ellie and I will be having our first child in early September. Preparations for that have been soaking up what would otherwise have surely been very productive procrastination from cleaning my lines and packing maple […]

Town Meeting Day is Ended, Let’s Boil

It’s on. We collected about 300 gallons of sap today on our partially-tapped bush up in Strafford. Tomorrow we’ll tap the Thetford Center location. I’d boil and make some maple syrup, but tomorrow I’ll have to run up to Fletcher, Vermont to pick up a used reverse osmosis unit. Without it we’d have to boil […]

Strafford Maple Syrup Property Permanently Conserved

For the past few years, we’ve come to be friends with Sue Baker, the woman who owns the sugarbush we rent in strafford for making maple syrup. We’ve built up that maple syrup business from the 700 taps her late husband sugared up to about 2,000 today. All along, we’ve been working with her to […]

Maple Syrup Barn Eats Large Sap Tank

We planned to put it up at the end of the summer, when we first finished the new sap barn, but of course, stuff intervened. We wound up heaving this 600-gallon monster steel tank up into the loft only after the first snows had come, making it all the harder and heavier. The opening up […]

It’s Fall, Time to Run Lines to Expand the Maple Syrup Operation

Common sense may say otherwise, but fall is the time maple syrup makers’ minds turn to thoughts of making even more maple syrup. They see beautiful yellow lines of sugar maple trees yet untapped for lack of that one last roll of 5/16th inch line last year. Over the summer, the memory metastasizes into schemes. […]

Adding “New” Maple Trees

They aren’t really new trees. Average age is perhaps 75, and ranging between 40 years old and 150 years old. Probably half of them have been tapped before, a few generations ago in the days of horses and buckets. But to me they’re new, and they seem to be multiplying as I’m running line to […]

Bulk Handling Maple Syrup

We took down the old greenhouse where we used to keep our main sap tank and its vacuum system, replacing it with the “sap barn,” a two-story affair that Robert and the boys put up in a few weeks over the summer. The barn itself is nice enough, but there are a couple special features […]

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 […]


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