Friday, February 7, 2014

Never underestimate the power of...

a crazy woman with tools.
One tree, two collection bags.  I have two large trees which each have two bags, plus one smaller tree with only one.

I'd thought for about the last 4 years about tapping the sugar maples in our back yard.  For the first few years though first of all the weather was never right--it really didn't get cold enough at night, it stayed above freezing.  Last year had good weather, but I wasn't ready to take advantage of it.

This year I jumped!  We're having just the right weather at just the right time of year (we're at the south-easternmost point where collecting sap and making maple syrup is really feasible so we're the earliest season collectors).  I put in an order for a beginner's kit at Andersen's and they shipped it out immediately and voila!  My attempt has begun.

Not that things went smoothly of course.  The drill bit didn't fit my drill so I had to just do my best to make it work.  The wood this morning at 10 AM (supposedly the best hour of the day for this) is still somewhat frozen making it that much harder to drill through the bark and wood especially with an ill-fitting drill bit.  Since the bit didn't fit I had to use a wrench to unscrew it each time to remove it from the tree trunks.  And yes, the first spile I did indeed hammer in backwards the first time.

Now it just has to hit the magic temperatures and if I've done it right we'll have sap running for the next few weeks.  The kids are excited about the idea of saving half the syrup in that form and then boiling down half to make maple sugar candy plus the hard ice-pan candy mentioned in "Little House in the Big Woods."  Thanks to Ohio State Extension services, I have recipes for both.

I just hope we get anything.

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