February 22, 2011

Sweet Maple Goodness

I needed a little project this winter/spring to keep me out of trouble.  Something productive, fun, and sweet.  Since my friend Rixa taps her maple tree for syrup, I figured I could, too.  Not her maple of course, mine!  So with some info from Rixa,  and spiles from tapmytrees.com (I know, isn't that the greatest url ever?) I'm on my way to making maple syrup.

Here's the 411.  I drilled a hole in the tree about 3 feet from the ground.  Rixa said to angle the hole down.  Which makes sense and I'm glad she told me to because I'm sure I wouldn't have. 
The kids and I jammed the tap in with a mallet.  Rixa gave me some tubing that connects from the spout and into a gallon jug. 
I bought the spiles and not the buckets because I'm way too cheap.  The tubing gets the sap into the jug and hopefully keeps all critters out. 

So far I've gotten a quart of sap which boiled down to about 3 tablespoons of syrup.  Not impressive, yet.  But those three tablespoons are the best maple syrup I've ever tried!  I need to ask our neighbor if I can tap their tree in which case we will be swimming in sap.  Not so much syrup, but that's ok.


  1. i heard a piece on NPR about how maple trees can explode. This problem occurs once a tapped tree is neglected. It was a while ago and I don't remember the details, but I do remember the recorded explosions.

  2. I had to check out the NPR story. It is very interesting. Turns out it was aired on April Fools Day, 2005. :)

  3. More than interesting, it is hilarious!

  4. very industrious. i wish i could taste it.

  5. That's so awesome! Good for you, learning make your own syrup! You are a renaissance woman.

  6. DIY queen! I bow to you. If you lived here you would have chickens, I'm sure.
    (That's hilarious, about that April Fool's Day story.)
    Annnnnnnd, Yeah. I've read you need a lot of sap. It's amazing that syrup is even affordable. I was feeling guilty about buying my students the cheap crap, but now I remember why I did.

  7. Yeah! I have to try this!! I love maple syrup and it's so espensive. Thanks for sharing.


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