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Sugaring Season is in Full Swing

March 1st, 2011

The weather has been cooperating nicely for sugaring season this year. It looks like we’re going to get at least twice as much syrup as we did last year.

In the last 2 days we’ve collected enough sap to make a gallon of syrup. We have every single jar and pan we own full of sap in the kitchen and on the back porch. It’s hard to stay on top it when the weather is just right. We haven’t been able to boil it down over the fire because of rain and storms.

So far we’ve been able to put almost a gallon of syrup in the basement pantry and we have at least enough sap for another gallon. It looks the weather will keep cooperating as well, we may end up with three gallons this year. That sounds like a lot of pancakes and Mr Chiots is very happy about that!

Since it looks like we’re going to get a good harvest of syrup this year, I’m going to try making some maple sugar. I need to read up on how to do it, should be interesting.

The nice thing about sugaring our maples is that it’s a perfect way to get back outside when the weather starts to turn nice again. Even Lucy is enjoying all the extra time out of the house.

What chores get you out and about this time of year?

20 Comments to “Sugaring Season is in Full Swing”
  1. Issa on March 1, 2011 at 5:17 am

    Ooh, I agree with Mr Chiots – I’m drooling at the thought of your yummy pancakes!

    No maple sugaring for me, but I’m out and about preparing for this year’s pigs. I’ll buy piglets sometime in March, so I’ve prepared their shelter, rigged up a new watering system, and I just like to meander the pasture plotting out their rotation for this year. I’ve had some 60+ degree days here in Tennessee, so if the trees weren’t bare, I could almost pretend that it’s already spring!

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  2. Emily Jenkins on March 1, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Maple sugaring has been great to get me through the last snowy weeks this year.

    My absolute favorite outdoor activity this time of year, when we get a break in the weather, is probably watching the livestock gear up for the spring.
    The ram does a frustrated little dance each morning since the ewes are both bred, and the ewes trudge their heavy little tummies out to the hay doing their best to ignore him.
    The drakes fight and fight and fight, and the female ducks take turns mounting each other since the males are too busy posturing to do anything .
    The best is the horses, though. I have eight mares and they all begin cycling when the weather warms up. They are incredibly playful and when it’s warm like this they spend their days playing “face-tag”, where they take turns trying to bite each other’s cheeks while rearing, and they charge around the field, slipping in the icy mud and kicking up quite a bit. It’s hilarious when the geldings from the other field line up along the mares’ pasture fence and staaaaaare dumbly at them. When the mares notice a gelding of choice is watching them, they all run over to him and take turns squawking and pawing the ground, posturing to see who gets to lay claim to this sterile and thus mildly disinterested male. Haha.

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  3. Rhonda on March 1, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Your syrup looks beautiful in those Weck jars.
    Something I had while in Quebec was Maple butter. It’s a whipped sort of maple spread, it doesn’t contain butter. It is FABULOUS. I found some at Whole foods, but it’s nothing like I had in Quebec.

    What gets me outside is cleaning up all my dead flowers from the fall. I leave my flowers out all winter because the birds eat the dried seeds. So now I’ll get out there and clean up all the dried stuff and start getting the ground ready to sprinkle more seeds. I’m going to double the amount of Zinnias this year because the goldfinches really seem to love them.

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  4. Denimflyz on March 1, 2011 at 9:20 am

    i am waiting for a few good days where I can hopefully move raised beds and start some culinary mushrooms. Its been very cold here, and everthing that doesn’t get sun is still frozen in winter’s grip. I plan on Winecaps and some Shiitake. I have an interest in mushrooming and am anxious to start this in my garden.
    Just the usual picking up of winter leftovers, and getting some containers ready for spring, I have lettuces and mesclun in makeshift cold frames now, and some garlic scapes in another.
    Your maple look devine. I wish our area could support Maples, these trees do not do well in our type of soil and area, they are sure beautiful.
    Enjoy your maple sugaring.

    Reply to Denimflyz's comment

    • Susy on March 1, 2011 at 9:29 am

      Oh, I’m so wanting to start some mushrooms. Maybe this spring I’ll get some spawn and try my hand at growing mushrooms.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. alecia on March 1, 2011 at 9:27 am

    I am fascinated by your sugaring activities- how rewarding and delicious!!

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  6. Daedre Craig on March 1, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Snow shoveling…that’s what chore gets me out and about this time of year!

    Reply to Daedre Craig's comment

  7. Sense of Home on March 1, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Sounds like fun!

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  8. Mich on March 1, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Riding my horse and walking the dogs thats my reason for being outdoors every day…..
    My veg plot / flower borders are just too wet to be able to get on them to work… roll on dry weather!
    Am most jealous of you being able to make your own maple syrup – how great is that.

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  9. rachel on March 1, 2011 at 11:31 am

    So jealous of your maple syrup!! Very cool! This week I’ll be planting the rest of my tomatoes/peppers etc outside and crossing my fingers that we’ve seen the last freeze.

    Reply to rachel's comment

    • Susy on March 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm

      So jealous that you’re already planting tomatoes & peppers – I can’t wait for a ripe tomato!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. Nebraska Dave on March 1, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Susy, I’m finishing up my inside winter project. It is a food storage area. I still have considerable construction to do because I just can’t say no to other peoples projects. This week should allow me to have more time to work on getting at least the ceiling finished. I have rewired many phone and cable lines that needed to be above the ceiling and have most of the insulating done for the ceiling. Next will be the drywall and the final installation fo the new fluorescent light.

    Have a great maple sap catching day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

    • Susy on March 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm

      Sounds like you’ve been busy! Well, you can come here to do some construction any time, we have a LONG list of to-do’s that never seem to get done :)

      Reply to Susy's comment

  11. Michelle on March 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Reminds me of Little House on the Prairie… It looks so beautiful in the jars…

    Reply to Michelle's comment

    • Susy on March 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      I do love that part in the Little House books when they talk about making maple syrup.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  12. melissa on March 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Well it’s already warmed up here so I’ve been spending most of my free time either at the nursery or in the dirt. :) Sorry, not trying to rub it in but this year I’m so excited about spring for once (short-lived as it will be)!

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  13. Jennifer Fisk on March 1, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Last year, I was starting seedlings of broccoli, kale, basil and tomatoes and looking at garlic and rhubarb sprouts.. This year, I’m looking out at 3+feet of snow and ice. Really, here it is the same chores as January, make sure the chickens have water and food and same for the rabbits.

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  14. Sincerely, Emily on March 1, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Oh what beautiful maple syrup you have. I sort of makes me want to live back up north to be doing that. We used to go to a local arboretum every year in MN for a big pancake breakfast with fresh maple syrup from their trees. They had the whole process set up and you could see it all from start to finish. Great memories. My veggie seedlings are doing well. I just transplanted my tomatoes up into gallon pots, but it is still too early here in So. TX to plant outside yet (although the weather has been teasing us w/warm temps). I still have more seeds to start and I still have lots of work outside to get ready for things. The last few days have been less humid and cooler (mid 70’s – not trying to rub it in at all – we will be 100F before many of you hit 60F) so it is perfect to be outside and take the seedlings out to harden them. It is nice to get outside and work this time of year. Emily

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  15. Angela on March 4, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Once again, I’m struck by how beautiful your pictures are. I love the pictures of the syrup jars.

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  16. Ken Toney on March 6, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I’m completely jealous of your maple syrup. I knew this year was turning out to be a great season for sugaring, but I didn’t have the time for it. I have been busy building a new playhouse for my son, planning for and building a hoop house and fixing a leaking foundation wall. Sadly, I’ll have to go without homemade maple syrup this year. On the bright side, it has been much nicer weather this year than last year at this time.

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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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