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Maple Sap Tea

February 22nd, 2017

It’s sugaring season here in Maine, I tapped our large sugar maple on Monday morning and the sap started flowing immediately. This year I’m only tapping this tree, it’s large, thus it accommodates three taps. That will produce over a gallon of syrup though, enough to get us through the year.

One of the delicious side benefits of sugaring season, is that I make my tea throughout the day with hot sap from the kettle on the stove. It imparts the slightest bit of sweetness, just enough to make the tea exceptionally great. I’m looking forward to my maple sap chai later this morning!

Do you live in an area where maple trees are tapped?

Friday Favorite: Maple Tapping

February 19th, 2016

AH, I think every year at this time I talk about how much I LOVE sugaring the maple trees. Yesterday I went out to tap one tree, I do this each year to monitor sap flow. When the sap starts flowing from that tap, I tap the remaining trees. The sap started flowing right away, so I tapped 8 more trees. I’ll probably add a few more taps today.
maple sap 3
I really love sugaring because it gets me out in the garden during a time when I wouldn’t be out there. It makes me go outside and I get a ton of exercise, it really helps get me in shape for the upcoming gardening season. I also love that it’s such a simple process, really, you just gather sap and boil it down, it’s really that simple. When you drizzle homemade maple syrup on your pancakes in the morning there’s nothing quite like it, it somehow tastes sweeter.

Do you live in an area where they tap trees?

Moving On…

April 15th, 2014

Sugaring season is finally finished, my last batch of syrup was bottled up on Sunday.  I thought the season was over the previous weekend, but the trees decided to flow like crazy for one more day this past Thursday.  After collected 25 gallons of sap I added another half gallon to my finally tally, which was a pint or two over five gallons.
maple sugaring
On Saturday I gathered up all of my jars and removed all the spiles from the trees. I hadn’t counted when I put them, so I counted as I washed. 42 taps were put in probably about 35 trees. That’s a lot of jars to wash!
so long sugaring 1
so long sugaring 2
so long sugaring
One of things I love about sugaring is watching how the syrup changes color throughout the season. We’ve noticed that the first batch is always dark and the second is always light. Third and fourth batches area always dark as well. Such an interesting process to watch. Next year I’m hoping to tap a few birch trees as well, this year I just didn’t have the energy to content collecting and boiling sap.

Do you like light or dark maple syrup?

Quote of the Day: Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd

February 19th, 2012

Part of the satisfaction of sugaring is of course the flavor of the maple syrup, which has no substitute and which cannot be convincingly reproduced synthetically (“imitation maple syrup” is an oxymoron). But another part is its connection to the past, it forms a continuous link back to the first settlers, and to the Native Americans before them from whom they learned the art.

Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd in Living Seasonally: The Kitchen Garden and the Table at North Hill

It’s been a busy week of sugaring. In fact, after spending the last 2 days gathering sap, straining it and boiling it down I was ready to settle in with a cup of tea and good book to relax until I realized I hadn’t written this blog post. Luckily, Friday night I spent some time outside documenting why we love sugaring so much. There’s definitely a calendar image in the lot for next year!




Sugaring really is about so much more than making your own syrup. When you buy a bottle of syrup at the store you miss out the entire process, the hope you feel when you tap the trees, the joy of the first drip of sap, the healthy movement from collecting gallons and gallons of sap and walking many miles, the relaxation provided by tending the fire, and the wonder that comes when you taste your first sweet reward.


One of the things we love most about sugaring is that it gets us out of the house during that time of year when we might not otherwise. It’s wonderful to bundle up and be outside during that magic hour when the sun sets. Sugaring is probably one of my favorite activities of the entire year, each year I eagerly anticipate it’s arrival and am very sad when it’s gone. Perhaps it comes at just the right time.

What activities are you especially appreciative of at this time?

If you want to read up on maple sugaring I’d highly recommend these books:

The Cycle Begins Again

February 8th, 2012

The weather seemed perfect on Sunday afternoon, so we decided it was time to tap our maple trees. Out came all the supplies, the spiles and jars were scrubbed, the extension cords were brought out and the first tree was tapped.


As soon as the hole was drilled sap was running down the side of the tree before we could even get the spile in. Thirty taps later and we were done. That evening we collected five and a half gallons of sap and so the cycle of collecting and boiling has begun again.

Last year was a long sugaring season and we got 5 gallons of finished syrup. This year we tapped more trees because we think the season will be short, which is the usual here in our area of Ohio. In total we have 30 taps going and are hoping to get a few gallons of syrup once again.

The little black garage cat (aka “The Sweets”) loves it when sugaring season rolls around. Just like her mama used to do, she followed us around the woods as we tapped trees and she runs ahead of Mr Chiots on the paths when he collects the sap. No doubt she’s enjoying some human companionship after a long lonely winter in the garage.

Our maple syrup is precious and since we use it as almost our only form of sweetener, we use it sparingly throughout the year. We’re always happy to reach the next cycle with a few jars of syrup left in the pantry. When I checked last week we still had almost 2 gallons left.

What’s your favorite way to use maple syrup?

If you want to read up on maple sugaring I’d highly recommend these books:

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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