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April 16, 2011

Maple Season 2011 Is Finished!

 Here's our 'sugar house' as we call it....
It has progressed over the years from an open
flame surrounded by cinder blocks and a
roasting pan to a reworked 250 gallon drum with 
an actual finishing pan on top!

You can see Toby, our trusty yellow lab watching. 
He likes to sit half way between the sugar house and 
our house, this way he can 'properly greet' anyone
who shows up in either location and
not miss ANY ACTION! 
A beautiful sight to behold.....

Ethan our nephew, had come over to help hang the
buckets and he came back to help empty them!
He had an eye opening experience as to all the work
 involved in making maple syrup!
He was a trooper and everyone had fun 
showing him the ropes! Yeah Ethan! 
 
 Emptying the hanging buckets of
sap into 5 gallon buckets....
 Carrying the full buckets back to the truck to pour
into the 30 gallon buckets.... (heavy & tiring work!)
 Toby, the ever ready dog!
He was in on most of the action too...

 Our 'evaporator' system!
You can see the white barrel to the left... the guys
lift & pour the sap into this container. The sap then
travels through the orange hose into the pan at a
slow drip or stream, depending on the heat &
quickness of evaporation!

It takes LOTS of wood, time and patience!!
Remember that it roughly takes 40 gallons of sap to
produce 1 gallon of maple syrup!

The guys take it 'off the fire' at about 220*F, strain
it back into the 5 gallon buckets and then bring up to
me. In the kitchen I pour it into my 'soup kettles'
and bring it back to temperature (220*) and then
pour it into the plastic storage containers!

Lots of work, but oh the sweet reward!

     This has also been shared at http://www.sustainableeats.com/
for "Simple Lives Thursday", April 14th edition!
Check out all the other wonderful ideas
shared on their website!

3 comments:

Marillyn Beard said...

This is great! We love maple syrup! I enjoyed your step by step photos and instructions. Would love to experience this in person someday! Thank you for linking up at Simple Lives Thursday :o)

Melynda said...

Hello Melanie and Family, what an accomplishment. Maple calls out to me everyday, one of my favorite flavors. thanks for stopping by Mom's Sunday Cafe, I love making new friends.

.ambre. @ LivingAsOfTheDay said...

Do you sell your maple syrup anywhere? It looks so good! :)