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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?

9 Comments to “Moving On…”
  1. kristin @ going country on April 15, 2014 at 6:29 am

    The darker, the better. Our friend we sugar with had heard about and wanted to try tapping some black walnut trees this year–they grow like weeds around here–but we never did since we didn’t do any sugaring this year in the end.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  2. DebbieB on April 15, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Believe it or not, I don’t think I’ve ever HAD real maple syrup, only the commercial fake stuff.

    What causes the lighter batch?

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

  3. Nebraska Dave on April 15, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Susy, well, to answer your question, I would have to taste real maple syrup. I must confess that the only real home made syrup I’ve tasted is sorghum which is made from the juice of a crushed sorghum stem. It’s dark, thick, and has a strong taste. The maple syrup in my household is (big sigh) Mrs. Butter’s Worth. Yeah, I know, not real.

    It’s frosty here this morning with temperature of 24 and feels like 17 with a high today of 55. Yesterday was so nasty cold with the wind and cold that I didn’t even uncover the cabbages. I haven’t looked at the onions yet but I’m sure they are gone at 24 degrees. I’ll have to replant them for a third time this year. The cabbages should be good as they are under glass gallon jars. The jars make nice protectors from the elements. Since my grandson goes through a gallon of whole dill pickles about twice a month, I have an abundance of empty gallon glass jars.

    Have a great moving on day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  4. Sara on April 15, 2014 at 11:15 am

    We ended up with about a pint of syrup from our first attempt, so we only have one color (quite dark). We just didn’t have the right conditions for good sap flow this year (and not just us, so I don’t think we messed up too much for being newbs at it). But, it was a fun process I’m definitely doing it again–and it tastes amazing! And as always after learning how to do something myself I now have more respect for the people who sell at our farmers markets, always a good lesson to learn :)

    Reply to Sara's comment

  5. Caroline on April 15, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    I have only tried real, “home made” maple syrup once. It was terrible. So terrible that after 3 years of it lying around the kitchen, I just threw it out. I have been assured that I am wrong, and I do enjoy Target’s Simply Balanced Organic Maple Syrup – which I believe is actual, real maple syrup. I was told that the batch of home made stuff was probably burnt.

    If I have one maple tree in my yard, is it fee sable to get a spile and try making my own syrup? Or would the syrup of just one tree be pointless.

    Also, I didn’t know you could tap birch trees for syrup! Does it taste similar to Maple syrup?

    Reply to Caroline's comment

  6. daisy on April 15, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    What a treat! Will that amount last you the whole year? I know y’all don’t eat a lot of sweets.
    Real maple syrup is so dee-lish, but almost too sweet for me. I prefer honey.

    I sure hope we have maples on our next property. What a gift.

    Reply to daisy's comment

  7. Bonnie Fowler on April 15, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I prefer the darker. I bought a sampler once that had graded syrups. The grade A or lightest color did not have the complexity. Although I’m sure that is great for some things the darkest was addictive.

    Reply to Bonnie Fowler's comment

  8. Marina on April 16, 2014 at 7:05 am

    What a great harvest, Suzy! you have already started putting by for this season, while we are at the seed planting stage.
    Here in NH, there is an ample supply of maple syrup, long may it last.
    We do not have our own trees, but friends and neighbors do.
    The paler syrup can be used as sugar alternative, or very nice on yoghurt. The dark grade is fabulous for pancakes and waffles, and in baked custards or if you make ice cream…
    If you are not afraid of never going back, Dave, order some of the real and dark Macoy. If Suzy can find a way, I would love to send you a jar from my neighbors the Mc Gills.
    Sorry it is so cold in Nebraska, we just had frost and snow here.

    Reply to Marina's comment

  9. Michelle on April 18, 2014 at 3:40 am

    Susy, I know this is probably not what you intend to do with these, but would you let me purchase a (large) jar? My husband and I used to live in northern MA and would go sugaring every year in NH. We miss it dearly! I would pay for shipping! Thanks for considering.

    Reply to Michelle's comment

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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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