Making maple syrup was one the things Eric and I were most excited to do once we moved back to the east coast. We both feel so lucky to live where these amazing trees grow. Maple syrup is such a gift, just at the time of year where winter seems endless.
We only have two sugar maple trees by our house. Most of the sap we collect comes from our neighbors. Each day we collect sap from buckets connected to sugar maple trees along the bank of Grindstone creek. There's no fancy tubing, just a lot of pouring, then pulling the cart of full buckets home (uphill).
Meet our evaporator - sometimes called "Porco Rosso" because it looks a lot like Bogo the pig.
Just a couple years ago this was the evaporator of our friends at Little Salmon Farm. They have since upgraded, and we 'borrowed' their old one. (Just like Bogo, this might never make it back to them.)
For two years we have fed the evaporator chopped up pieces of wood that were once beams and walls of our house. After a year of renovations, we're finally done - and after this maple season, we're finally out of demo-ed house to burn while making syrup.
Boil, boil, boil. Once we collected a barrel full of sap (the blue bucket in this picture) we would start boiling it down into syrup. Sometimes we would collect more than two full barrels in one day! Then we would boil through the night.