Thursday, February 2, 2012

I'd Tap That

A friend of mine has been tapping her own trees and making her own syrup for as long as I've known her, and I've always been slightly envious of her abilities to make homegrown sweetners. So this year I fired off an email to her: If she hadn't started tapping her trees yet, could I come and watch and learn and take pictures for you dear readers. She of course said sure, and that she could do me one better. If I could bring her plastic buckets with tight fitting lids I can take home some of the sap myself. I'll stand at her elbow while she boils down one batch, and get a feel for the whole process, and then take my buckets home and make my very own sap from trees that she grew, and we tapped. HOW COOL IS THAT!! My goal is to bring home about 10 gallons of sap which should make me a 1 quart mason jar full of the sweet sticky stuff. Dar Kingstone has 9 spiles, 5 mature maple trees, and usually only uses 6 spiles. This year she plans to use less because she still has syrup in the freezer from last year. If I'm really getting the hang of it and enjoying the process then I could make much more than just 1 qt. Weather permitting of course.
The ideal weather for syrup is days that come up into the positive numbers, and nights that are below zero. The change in pressure within the tree as the wood expands and shrinks acts as a "pump" to draw the sap up the tree in the day time, and shunt it back down to the roots when it chills at night. With the freaky weather we've been having, the sap has probably been flowing most of the week, and will next week too, but Dar's not ready to tap the trees yet, so I'll patiently wait for her go ahead.
In the mean time I'll be contacting local restaurants to see if I can get food grade pails for free. Failing that I can buy some at Home Depot or TSC.

1 comment:

small farm girl said...

I'm soooo jealous!!!!! I always wanted to try making syrup!