slug first-boil-of-2024 ID: 60

First Boil of 2024

February 9, 2024

There were good conditions for an early run of sap and an open schedule for a Friday boil. Some complications with the reverse osmosis process provide some challenges, but the rest of the conditions were perfect and there was a good boil by 8am. 

Old friend and bandmate Glen stopped by to check out the process for the first time. Admiring all of the white steam he asked if anyone had ever called the fire department. I explained to him that over the last 10 years of making maple syrup, only once did a neighbor contact me to make sure everything was okay. Well, within ten minutes, the fire department paid us a visit! The first firefighter on the scene immediately radioed back that it was just a couple of guys making maple syrup and sent the trucks home. He did stay a few minutes to ask about the process, offered to trade me some of his chicken's eggs, and wondered why we were not yet drinking any beer. We had a follow up visit from a very friendly police officer who took my name, DOB, etc, and asked about how the maple syrup process worked. I kept it brief in case he needed to include it in his report.

It seems one of my neighbors from another street, who I don't have any interaction with, called in a very exaggerated description of smoke billowing from a house that kept the officer searching for the blaze even after initially seeing our activity. I'm still not sure if the neighbor was generally concerned or just annoyed at me, but I learned a few lessons from the experience:

  • First responders certainly have to respond to quite a variety of situations.
  • They also have their own very interesting hobbies.
  • It is not illegal to make maple syrup on your property.
  • Get to know ALL of your neighbors.

Glen suggested that I deliver some maple syrup to my concerned neighbor, which seems the most appropriate, neighborly response.

Ray and Glen


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