Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Syrup season again

It's maple syrup season again. We began tapping trees on the 8th, or there about. Today we finished up with tapping the last of 269 trees. We decided not to put buckets on the trees up by the syrup house since they have been tapped for the last five years and need a break. So most of the sap buckets are on trees a little further into the woods.
Will has the new evaporator all set up and ready to go. It is bigger than our first one, longer by about four feet, and should be able to boil about four times as much in the same amount of time. We already have around 200 gallons of sap collected and ready to go. So, if all goes well, we will begin to boil this Thursday or Friday.
This season we have a lot of friends scheduled to come help and that makes for a fun time. Many of them come from Chicago for a day. We are excited to also have a group from Slow Food come to help. Usually we do a quick tour of the equipment and set up, then everyone gets together and helps to collect firewood or sap. If we can, we try to boil that day so everyone can see how it works. But, that usually just depends on the weather.
Will also spends time with the local high school agriculture classes. This is definitely a kind of agriculture that the Farm Bureau and the local universities don't teach about. In our area of Illinois there are two commercial producers of maple syrup, us and Funks Grove. Funks Grove is much larger than our operation and is a really great place to go visit if you get a chance.
I think I have figured out how to get pictures on this blog. However...I haven't taken any recent ones so have to get on that! I hope to get some taken this week and show you the new evaporator set up. So, check back!!

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