I wish I was childlike enough to want to participate not having any idea what the event was. I could learn a lesson or two from my animals who trust in me to guide them without question. I want to do that with God, but for some reason I think I should be in the driver’s seat with the control panels. EVERY time I get in the back seat with my animals and let go and let God, life is better. And fruitful. Not always easy. But it sure lightens my burden a ton.
But we are off to the sugar bush. What did I just say? Never used those words until now, but like I said, new adventure using words I’ve never used. We are tapping some of our maples to make Shieling Maple Syrup. Found in a grocery near you. Well, maybe someday. Not in this lifetime. Last year we went out to pick our Maples and realized it was a little difficult to do in the winter since there are no leaves on the trees for identification. This past summer, I actually had a moment of forethought and skidaddled out there to mark the trees.
We are on track for something.
Sugaring season is about a 4-6 week period beginning in mid to late February. From what I read and hear, we tap the trees when the temperatures reach 40’s-50 during the day and sink below freezing at night. This is the ideal environment for the sap to run up and down the tree getting ready for who knows what. I will let you know when I know. Probably getting ready to fruit and leaf out and all that wonderful stuff trees do in the Spring. Tapping the trees is the easy part. It took me all of an hour to tap 10 trees.
I then hung two gallon plastic bags on to the spouts.
And then, we wait. I tapped the trees two days ago. Yesterday, each bag had about 1/2 cup of sap. The temperatures were not high enough for much activity. We are expecting some good solid 40’s in the coming days, so we should be in business. But who knows. I read that when temps reach high 40’s -50’s the sap can just pour. That would be a sight.
The hard part is gathering the sap into 5 gallon buckets to place over a wood fire outside and watching it boil down into luscious syrup. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. It takes A LONG time to get there. Days, my friend. Days. Someone has to be on hand to feed the fire. My goal is to get 2 gallons of syrup. Is that a reasonable goal with 10 trees and the time we have to stand by the fire? I have no idea. We’ve never done this before. But I can tell you that little Virginia and Samdog are goin’ to be lovin’ it. That means major time with Mom and Dad in the coming days.
The highlight of our tree tapping day was the game that the dogs (and Farmer Bob) played with an opossum. It was the first time I have ever seen an opossum play dead. It was alive and well then just rolled over. At first I thought, “oh not, that opossum is not right. Something is terribly wrong”. But then remembered that is what they do. Oh yeah. I forgot.
I hope our efforts bear wonderful fruits. How do you keep a fire burning for days on end and get anything else done? hmm.