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Category: Tapping

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 […]

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 […]

Reader Question: Untapping Trees

Reader Question: This was our first year making maple syrup with our 3 children, 3 and younger. We started late in the season but successfully made 2 gallons from two 100 ft sugar maple trees on our property. I tapped the trees with plastic spiles, 7 in total. Now that the season is finishing, do […]

Completed First 55 Gallon Drum of Maple Syrup

We made about 25 gallons today, on a day that really should have produced more sap. My own data collected over some years shows what everyone else already knows: that temps in the low 20s at night and high 40s during the day produce the great runs. Despite getting temperatures at least that good and […]

Governor Jim Douglas Caught with Hands on Sap Bucket

Each year here in Vermont, the governor rolls up his or her sleeves and taps tree around Town Meeting day. It’s a nice tradition put on by the various county maple syrup makers’ associations, and a good photo opportunity is had by all – except for maybe this last one. A reader emailed in this […]

Vacuum “Catastrophe” Averted

We turned on the vacuum over at the re-done bush in Strafford yesterday evening. It involved a lot of last-minute plumbing into the evening. When it went on: only about 8 or 9 bars of mercury. That’s a little less than half of the desired level of vacuum. [Installing a saddle (interface between lateral line […]

The Forest Tapped; Maple Syrup to Come

Saturday we tapped the Hubbard Hill bush. Five of us teemed over the hill, putting up 500 taps into holes we drilled into the trees. That night I moved the tapping equipment – mostly power drills with extra batteries and rechargers over at the Strafford bush in preparation for tapping on Sunday. Driving over with […]

Sugar Season About to Start

Where we live, we don’t often have to worry about security issues. Many folks don’t lock their doors. For the last few years I’ve tended to close the sugar shack door with a less-than-secure device I call the “Vermont security system,” pictured below. [The Vermont Security System, patent pending] Coupled with being right across from […]

One Step Backward

I arrived at the sugar bush this afternoon, planning on putting up a roll or two of lateral line before the snow got too deep to wade through. By the time I got to the sugar shack, though, I could see that the last ice storm’s damage included some downed branches that had taken out […]


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