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Drip, Drip, Drip….

March 8th, 2014

Yesterday was beautiful and it felt like maple sugaring season. When we got home from running errands I grabbed my spiles, drill and got to work setting a few maples taps.
maple sap 1
I set 10 taps yesterday and hope to head out and put in at least 10 or 15 more. The maples closest to the house and on my route to the coop and on dog walks got first priority. They’ll be the easiest to monitor and empty.
maple sap 2
Maple sugaring season is one of my favorites – I love heading outside to check all the collection jars, gathering sap and boiling it down into a tasty treat. There’s something so exciting about the process. For me it’s the official end of winter and the beginning of spring.
maple sap 3
As soon as I set the taps most of them started dripping, one tree is already proving to be a champ, giving a quart of sap in only a few hours. My goal is to get at least 3 gallons of finished syrup this year, that means I need 12-15 taps. As we have found out in the past, some trees produce a bounty of sap and others not quite as much. I’d rather have more syrup than I need than not enough, so I’ll shoot on setting 20 taps.

Is there a specific thing that signals the end of winter and beginning of spring for you?

Working Late

March 15th, 2009

It was a beautiful day here in NE Ohio yesterday, high in the 40’s and partly sunny. A perfect day to spend in it’s entirety outside.

This is what we saw all day yesterday from dawn till dusk.
We were up too late boiling down our maple sap over a fire for me to make a meaningful post. I’ll be back tomorrow morning though with tales of our sugaring adventures and photos of our maple syrup (boy is it delicious!!!).

Did you have a fun productive day yesterday? Were you able to work outside?

Maple Sugaring at Chiot’s Run

March 13th, 2009

Yesterday Mr Chiots and I tapped 12 of our maple trees here at Chiot’s Run. I have always wanted to do it but I thought you could only tap sugar maples, but Saturday I found out this was not the case.
I ran to Lehman’s Hardware in Kidron, OH and bought some spiles to tap our trees. Then we spent a half hour tapping our maple trees yesterday.
One tree started running sap as soon as we tapped it, it was very exciting. We hung the jar under it and it produced almost a pint of sap in 2 hours before it got cold.
It’s a bit late in the year for us to be tapping, the season started a few weeks ago, but we still have a week or two of sap weather coming. We won’t get much syrup since it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. If I get enough for one pancake breakfast I’ll be happy.
This is such a great way to learn new things. I would never just sit down and learn about maple trees, but we had a great time looking in our tree book and finding out how to identify maple trees in the winter by their bark. It’s a good thing I already knew which trees on our property were maples, since identifying trees in the winter without being able to see the buds is a bit of a challenge. We learned a lot and we’re looking forward to the sweet reward!

Anyone else tapping their maple trees? Do you buy local maple syrup?

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.