Saturday, March 14, 2009

Maple Sugaring Update

It's been about 10 days and we have brought in a little more than 60 gallons of sap. We were grateful for the cold spell the last couple of days that slowed down the flow. Today we brought in around 13 gallons so we will be boiling all day tomorrow to convert to syrup. Based on the weather forecast we anticipate another big day tomorrow.

As always, we invite anyone who knows us to come out and join us if you have the time. It does not take long to do the harvesting each day but it's fun. The kids really like playing in the woods and, on nice days, we attract quite a bit of attention from the "neighbors" walking along the Clinton river trail. We did a little impromptu educational program today with a lady who moved to Michigan from California and had never seen anyone tap trees for sap.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Maple Sugar

Last year we attended a Maple Sugaring program at Wolcott Mill Metropark and decided to try our hand at making homemade maple syrup. We tapped something like 13 trees and made more syrup than we had anticipated but had a wonderful time. It was particularly memorable for Daniel, Collin & Leslie.

This year we decided it would be fun to share the opportunity with our homeschool group so last Wednesday we did two "Intro to Maple Sugaring" sessions with 4 different families from our group. We tapped a total of 15 trees and let the sap flow!

We decided that it would be fun this year to track how much sap we got from each tree so we had each child write his or her name on a milk jug and select a tree. Every time we go out we log how much sap is in each jug before we pour it into our five gallon buckets to take it back to our place for processing. We are starting this blog entry so that any one who wants can follow along and see how much sap their trees produce over the syruping season.

We are tracking the collection on a google spreadsheet and you can follow along by clicking the link to Maple Syrup Log. We brought in almost 17 gallons on Friday and boiled all that down on Saturday. The yield was 2 quarts which really is excellent given that it generally takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. We are planning on continuing as long as the weather is appropriate over the next two or three weeks so anyone from HOHOH who wants to come out one day and help with the harvesting and tracking is welcome to come. Just give me a call ahead of time!