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Busy Season

March 25th, 2019

It’s been a busy spring here, after a busy winter. I’m not sure where the time went, but alas, it’s already the end of March. Planning vacations in spring is never a good idea when there’s maple sap to be collected and seedlings to tend, sometimes that’s the way of it. While I’m busy planning to be gone in France, I’m madly collecting sap, cleaning coops, and trying to get ahead at work.

Maple sugaring is always a favorite activity of mine. It gets me outside just as the weather is turning nice. I get to enjoy a warmer sun on my skin and get to feel the earth thawing beneath my feet. A big bonus is the sweet reward that comes in the form of maple syrup. Sugaring is for me, the harbinger of spring. It’s the one activity that signals that spring really is coming.

What activity signals spring for you?

Finishing up the Sugaring Season

March 29th, 2018

It’s finally getting reliably warm here in Maine, it looks like spring is actually on the way. With the nights not dipping below freezing consistently, the maple sap is slowing and some of the trees have already stopped.

That means I can finally finish up the sugaring, scrub up all the pots and collections jars, and hang up my sugaring apron for the year. Our total syrup for the year was a little over 3 gallons. Not bad considering I only put in a few taps. It was LONG season, I tapped the trees on Valentine’s day. We’ve already been enjoying the syrup on pancakes and in our tea.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy real maple syrup?

Tap, Tap, Tap…

February 15th, 2018

When we lived in Ohio, Valentine’s day was always the day we tapped our maple trees. We’d put in one tap and wait until it started flowing, then we’d tap the rest of the maple trees. Typically, I tap the trees in late February here in Maine. When Mr Chiots looked at the forecast, he said it looked like perfect sugaring weather.

I decided to tap one tree to monitor the flow, as soon as I started drilling the hole the sap started flowing.

I ended up putting in 8 taps yesterday, all but one was flowing. I may add more tomorrow, but I may stop at 8. Coincidentally, Valentine’s Day is also the day I fertilize all my indoor citrus trees as well. I find setting major holidays as dates to do certain chores works very well for me.

Is maple syrup produced in your area? Do you have set holidays when you do certain chores?

If you’d like to read more about small scale maple sugaring, I highly recommend this book: Backyard Sugarin’: A Complete How-To Guide (4th Edition)

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?

Maple Sapping

March 30th, 2015

‘Tis the season for maple sap. This year I’m not doing as much as I usually do. The snow is still way to deep to get to many of my trees and collecting sap in snowshoes isn’t the easiest thing in the world. I tapped our Big Old sugar maple right across the driveway from the house (photo from last year, there’s still a foot of snow on the ground here).
maple tree
I’m also making it a light sugaring year because I’m having some chiropractic work done for my scoliosis, which acts up every now and then. I’m hoping to get it all straightened out before gardening season is in full swing. I’m keeping my fingers crossed the pain is much more bearable at that point in time, not carrying heavy buckets of sap through the woods should help. I should still get a gallon or so of syrup, even just from this one tree. That is more than enough since I still have three gallons left from last year.

What’s happening in your garden this week?

Reading & Watching

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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.