Sunday, February 28, 2010
MAPLE SUGARING 2010 HAS BEGUN
This year seemed as though so many little life happenings led us away from watching the weather and getting jobs completed before we begin the maple sugaring season. Repairs to equipment, cleaning buckets and the evaporator along with splitting lots and lots of wood all need to be done around the time you begin to tap trees.
The warm weather we have received this last week was a sure indicator that we could wait no longer to begin this special time in Vermont.
The children dressed in warm and water proof clothes all helped as we tapped our trees one by one and hung the buckets. It almost becomes a little assembly line with everyone having their specific job to do; drill the hole in the tree, tap the spout into place, hang the bucket and secure the lid.
After all the maple trees are tapped, we need plenty of patience. Every year after we have tapped the trees, we wait and wait because it seems as though it takes a few days before the sap begins to pour. We all question ourselves -did we tap to early or late? Has the frost in the ground melted enough so that the trees can release the sap? Eventually, with the weather perfect the sap begins to drip into the buckets. It is the most simple but joyful sound we hear- the sap as it slides out of the spout one drop at a time and taps the bottom of the metal buckets.
As we tapped the trees this year,the temperature was around 38 degrees and a few drops of the sweet sap dripped into the buckets. With a cold night with a temperature in the 20's and a warm day in the mid 30's to low 40's we may have the sap running. Then we will collect the sap and boil it for many hours. Then it is the most important job-tasting the sweet warm syrup.
Cross your fingers for a successful year.