Sunday, April 15, 2007

Maple Syrup Time

Well, it’s that time again. Been boiling sap the past few days. So far we’ve made just over two gallons of maple syrup from 20 taps. No big operation here just making enough for our family till next year and to give away a few pints as gifts. Maybe someday we’ll do it more seriously, there’s plenty of maple tree’s for it that’s for sure. But, for now it’s just a fun thing to do. Kind of relaxing sitting around the fire. Couldn’t ask for nicer weather though. It’s been absolutely beautiful.

Friends of ours Phil and Diane Burns own Burning Bush Maple syrup. They do over 6000 taps. I remember when we first met them, thinking we had something in common in that we both did maple syrup, I asked Phil, “so how many taps do you make each year.” At the time he was doing close to 8000. He has since made improvements to his system making things more efficient and is down to 6000 or so taps. My mouth about dropped when I first heard how much they do and was a little embarrassed by the smallness of our efforts. Now that’s some serious maple syruping. In my wildest dreams I’d never figure on doing that much syrup. We make it by the pint, the Burns’ make it by the 55 gallon drum.

With the help of our neighbors we sheared our 4 sheep this weekend as well. Since our two families are both kind of getting into sheep we went at it as a group
effort. They had some electric shears so we helped them with their two ewes and then they came over and helped us. A fun learning experience for all. It always takes some getting used to seeing the sheep without their big wooly coats. Their heads always look too big for their bodies.

Obviously this is a before picture. Haven’t gotten a chance to see the ones of the fresh shear jobs. Perhaps I will post them at a later date.

Until Next Time


Blogger Emily said...

Mmmm, maple syrup! I'm drooling. It's my all-time favorite sweetener since I was a little girl. My daddy would always buy me those little maple sugar candies at Christmas. I can't believe that we have no sugar maples on our land. You'd think living in NH that would be a given, but nope. Mostly pines and oaks. Did you know that you can tap birch trees as well? We don't have any of those either. Oh well. Don't feel bad getting such a small yield; at least you're providing for your family. We still have to buy our own. Now that you have the sheep shorn, are you going to card and spin the wool to use yourselves or sell it? I'm looking forward to hearing more. Have a blessed Lord's Day!

9:17 PM  
Blogger RL said...

Hi Emily,

The first real maple syrup I ever had was what we made here ourselves 9 years ago. Been hooked on it ever since. Nothing even comes close to comparing to the real thing.

Our friends the Burns’ also make maple candies, I could easily overdose on that stuff.

Yes I have heard of people tapping birch tree’s. Never tried it myself. Can’t imagine what it would taste like.

Our daughter is going to use the wool herself. We have a spinning wheel and she has been practicing on already prepared wool. I imagine it will be quite a project getting this wool cleaned up and ready to use.

So far it’s just a hobby, so she’ll have to see if it will ever develop into something more.

Take Care,


10:04 PM  
Blogger TNfarmgirl said...

'Tis a wonderful advantage living up in the south you don't find much maple syrup making :) Someday I would love to do this but in the meantime I'll just keep reading your blog and living vicariously through your efforts.

10:02 PM  
Blogger RL said...

Hello Cheri,
Thanks for the comment. We made about 2 1/2 gallons all together. A good year for us. My cousins in TN tell me that molasses is their equivalent of maple syrup down there.

Blessings to you,

3:43 PM  

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