So far we have made 10 gallons of syrup in 4 days of boiling. Really good. The new evaporator is a dream to use in some ways...we don't have to shut it down when we go out to get firewood or sap, and it is virtually self run. But, it is also so efficient with the heat that we are freezing! It was 44 degrees in the syrup house yesterday. Last year we were in our shirt sleeves by afternoon. This year I'm bundled with hat, scarf, gloves, snow pants over jeans over long johns...etc. and my feet are frozen.
Well, that caused us to get creative. Today we installed a little wood burning stove for us to sit by. I tried sitting next to the door of the evaporator, but was almost inside it and still cold. The little stove should help a ton. Plus I can put my tea on it to stay warm.
I also asked if we could build a cute little (and very functional) outhouse this year. Not close to the syrup house, but not a couple acres walk away, which the house is. We might get that done later in the season. We'll see how that goes.
Two new products for us this year...distilled maple sap (water). We are collecting the condensation from the hoods over the boiling syrup and bottle it (at the source). We call it "Uncle Willard's Sweet Sweat"...sweat from the boiling sap that is. I also like the line "it takes a lot of sweat to make a gallon of syrup." My other idea hasn't taken off tho. I noticed the icicles off the roof from the steam that comes out the roof flaps. I thought we could call them "sap cicles". But they don't look too edible. Maybe we can just put the "sweat" into some kind of maple shaped ice trays and freeze it. Hm.
Stay tuned...I'm determined to get the picture thing figured out at some point!!