We took the opportunity of living on the edge of the Northeast sugar belt to tap sugar maples on the farm and do some good old fashioned sugarin' this season.
Making maple syrup is a fascinating topic rich in lore, history, science and I could go on and on about the process. It's kind of like beekeeping, mushroom hunting, or surfing. Nature puts it there. You just have to be curious and persistent enough to be there when the gettin's good.
This year we collected 100 gallons of maple water from 10 trees. When it is all reduced down, that amount will only make about 2 gallons of syrup! Yes- a lot of work but the outcome is so delicious...subtle flavors beyond anything you can buy anywhere. Maple syrup is really the ultimate seasonal treat- a gift from nature.
This is a trial run but we would eventually like to tap more trees and get an official wood-fired evaporator for the Old Millpond Farm Sugar Shack. Next year, look for some delicious maple syrup at our newly built, community supported farm stand. I'll keep you posted.
I've got some sap on the boiler right now... gotta go!