We have a new project for these last few days of winter. We’re tapping our maple trees!
I picked up a basic starter kit at the hardware store. It came with five buckets, five lids and five spiles.
Thankfully the kit also came with instructions on how to get started. We selected trees that were the right size, drilled holes, stuck the spiles in, and watched the magic happen.
The sap started flowing as soon as we drilled the holes. Matt was impatient saying, “Stop taking pictures! We’re wasting sap!” (Picture Kermit arm flailing). The maple syrup has totally turned into Matt’s thing.
The spiles, buckets and lids all hook together in a pretty simple system. The sap travels up the tree, into the spile and then drips into the bucket.
The sap run this year hasn’t been terrific. Last week temperatures shot up, and I had high hopes for a a lot of sap. However, the temperatures were so high that even night was above freezing. Apparently cold nights are critical for sap.
However, we have had a few good days where Matt had to empty the buckets several times.
To collect the sap, Matt takes my biggest stock pot outside and empties the buckets into the pot. Then in the house we strain the sap to get out any dirt or bugs or twigs and put it in big containers in the fridge until we’re ready to move on to the syrup stage–which I’ll talk about in my next post.
Have you ever tapped trees? Are you trying anything new this time of year? What’s your big spring project?