End of the 2013 Maple Season
March 25, 2013
The buckets and taps have been pulled from the trees, washed, and put away. The pans are soaking, and the smokestack is laying down for a long rest until next year. What a successful season! The sap was plentiful, the conditions were right, and the process was improved. Over 4 gallons of maple syrup were produced, which is not too shabby for a backyard hobby. New labels, packaging, and website almost suggest a professional operation.
Most observers to the process begin to appreciate the effort that goes into making maple syrup. The amount of time and energy required for such a small yield help explain the high cost of pure maple syrup. But like planting a vegetable garden, baking bread, or making beer, it’s great to remind ourselves about how these things are done, and that we can, and perhaps should, do them ourselves.
For me, the maple season has become a harbinger for spring. It starts off frigid and snowy, and as the trees slowly awaken and share their sap, the days grow longer and fewer layers of clothes are required to spend the day outside “boiling down.”
I have already thought about improvements for next year which include some reconfiguration to the evaporator to get better efficiency and fire management. I also plan to make maple candy and improve the filtering process. And there are still downed trees from past storms to be cut, split and stacked during the warmer months ahead.
I hope any visitors to this site have enjoyed the updates, and hope you’ll check back in 2014.