Friday, March 2, 2012

Adventures in Making Maple Syrup! Part 1

I'm Canadian, but I live in the US midwest. My neighbors think our family is crazy sometimes. We like playing outside in the snow, we made an ice rink in our back yard, and this winter we are going to try and make maple syrup!

This isn't totally foreign to me, but I did have to do a little research. Last spring we had the pleasure of going to a sugar bush and seeing the process of making maple syrup. I've been before, but my kids hadn't and they thought it was great! Their favorite part was the four wheeler ride into the bush!  These pictures are from our experience last year:







They had the whole set up, an actual syrup boiler inside their little sleep camp! They make syrup for their whole family. Our set up is definitely not as fancy, but here is what we used to get started!

SUPPLIES:

  • jugs or buckets to collect the syrup (one for each tree or tap).
  • Paraffin Wax (look in the canning aisle)
  • 1/2 inch clear plastic tubing
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • rope
  • large pail to collect the sap.   
You can purchase syrup making materials like spigots, but we did everything ourselves DIY style! Sugar Maple trees make the sweetest sap, but any type of maple can be tapped! Each tree should give about 5 gallons of sap (some more some less). Trees should be about 14 inches in diameter to be tapped. You need 40 gallons of sap to boil down to 1 gallon of syrup!

Watch for Part 2 for instructions on the how to!!

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