|First, the kids helped to identify which trees were sugar maples. This one is too small to tap.|
|R10 boldly asks if she can try her hand at drilling the hole in the trunk.|
|A bucket of sap- which we were allowed to try. Pretty much tastes like sugar water.|
|Here are the taps also called stiles. When the sap runs, the buckets get full. Mr. G says that some of his bigger trees can fill a bucket overflowing over night!|
|Here the sap is boiling down. He's working on the best method- he's made his own boiler so he's been working on something more efficient. We did the math on the collection of 350 gallons of sap from his 8-9 trees a season.|
|Boiling sap! He will remove the sap before it's all done and start again the next best day. Gone are the days when he would babysit boiling sap all night!|
|The kids got to taste the partially boiled sap. Reports say it was yummy! It's looking a bit more like maple syrup now.|
|This where Mr. G filters his syrup before finishing off the boiling inside. There's a paper filter for larger things (that might fall into your sap while boiling it) and a felt one that really gets out the particulates.|
|What a view! Actually, just a few miles down the road from my house there is a similar view. The weather may be trying here sometimes, but it's beautiful.|
We learned that sap early in the season makes light syrup which is the Grade A maple syrup that is expensive and later in the season the syrup goes darker and is B Grade syrup used in candies and foods.
E12 wanted to know what percentage of the water gets boiled off to make good syrup. An answer came with some math- If 350 gallons of sap are collected and it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup, then about 97% of the water is boiled off. We also figured out how many 5 gallon buckets Mr. G hauls around during this 6 week season. That's a lot of work considering the weight of each one. Yeah...Dan and E12 worked on that math too.
All this makes me want to tap a few trees next spring just to try it out. Our neighbor has a few sugar maples. Do you think they would mind?