What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Sappy: Maple Syrupping Pt. 2

It's been a few weeks and we are WAY past this stage in the maple syrup game now-but what can I say? I am backed up on blogging!

Putting the mainline out from the top of the woods down to the Saphouse is only the beginning when it comes to saplines-and the easiest part too! After the mainline goes up, THEN you have to put zillions of small lines out-that go from tree to tree to tree and all eventually end up connecting to the mainline.

Connecting into these secondary lines are smaller tubing with spiles on the end (hard plastic spicot-like things that go into the trees) that need to reach to the particular trees being tapped.

There can be 20-50 trees to be tapped on ONE secondary line and many trees are tapped twice!

This means that each small tube with spiles connects into a very LONG secondary tube which eventually connects up with the MAIN LINE. And since sap needs to flow THROUGH these lines (and not spill out) all the tubes need to flow into one another without debris, without leaks, and without faulty connections.

This also means that the tubing has to be PERFECTLY SIZED to match where the trees are and where the spiles are going to be tapped on that line! (the part that REALLY amazes me!)

It is like a labyrinth of tubes. No kidding. A labyrinth that they spent all morning setting up.

To connect the spiles to the tubes, the connectors to the tubes or the tubes to the mainline-we had to CHEW the ends of the tubing to get the ends flexible enough to be put on the hard plastic.

No one was exempt from this chore....

... and there were many a sore jaw that night.

We then divided into teams. John and Nate were partners. Matt and I were partners. (Are we EVER!)

Matt walked ahead of me and drilled holes into the proper trees and I followed the tubing on the ground and hammered the spiles into the trees. Because Matt was just drilling holes, he could go a LOT faster than I could-often leaving me in the dust. Or, er...snow.

(Andrew sips the sweet sap....)

I had to follow the tubing on the ground and look for sawdust at the base of the trees for a clue as to where the drilled holes were and what trees had been drilled. Kinda like a treasure hunt for holey trees. Some were a bit battleworn.

Don't worry, they eventually heal.

It is all very pleasant.... until a snow squall bears upon you or you realize a line has been put in ALL WRONG and doesn't match (or reach) the proper trees. Then....not so much.

We brought Ruby along on this trip and she excitedly ran from person to person, checking the progress. I found her once taking a rest on a bed of leaves like a big old bird. Lazy mutt. humph.

Ruby Factoid #1: If she wants your attention, she will run and sit between your legs.

She's a good dog, she is. Yes you are Looby.

We came in for the day pretty well spent at around 5:30. But it was a good spent. And the job was done (well, this part of the job anyway....).


And~ Did you think I forgot?!?

Wednesdays Menu:


  • Dippy Eggs
  • Homemade Whole Wheat Toast with Strawberry Freezer Jam
  • Water


  • Meatless Chili (leftover from weekend)
  • A hunk of bread (the whole wheat stuff)
  • Water

Childrens' Snack:

  • Grapes
  • Snickerdoodles-fresh from the oven (Judah was very good and put the balls in the sugarbowl without snarfing them all-or maiming them and Adele rolled 'em around and plunked them on cookie sheets. Sometimes my life feels very Deja vu-ish.)
  • Water


  • Shredded BBQ beef sandwiches on ciabatta. (The ciabatta was given to Matt by his boss.)
  • Wheat berry salad with peppers, celery, a few tomatoes and onion flakes (instead of minced)
  • Homemade Applesauce
  • Snickerdoodles for dessert!
  • MILK (It was time.)


Unknown said...

After your first post, i had to splurge and buy some maple syrup :)it is so expensive, we usually put honey or nothing on pancakes. We've only bought syrup once before in our almost-4-years of marriage. (our first christmas, my mother gave us some in a basket of expensive kitchen luxuries, along with an apron for each of us, with our names on them :D one of the best gifts ever!). Now we are going grain free but the new maple syrup made the coconut flour pancakes be the best i've had in ages :D ... tapping trees for syrup makes me think of little house on the prairie :)
... i wonder, if your 'dipping eggs' are the same as our 'soaky pokey eggs' (you poke the whites and then soak bread in the yolks :D )

Unknown said...

I missed our maple syrup field trip with our homeschool group. This is so cool!

You are so awesome with the menu!! :)

Leah T. said...

Love the second part of your syrupping adventure! All the children had to see the pictures. :) Do you expect to have a good season? I can't believe it already so warm!

Your menu looks great! Is your whole wheat bread recipe on Kitchen Riches? Excited to see what you plan for tomorrow.

I know I mentioned awhile ago that I posted on my blog but I didn't tell you I have a new one. Oops! I linked it to my name but just realized that you may not have clicked through. It can be found at ps139hemmedin.wordpress.com . I'm still trying to find my blogging legs again, so to speak, but I'm gettin' there. LOL

Anonymous said...

I have not commented in a while but Delightful as always, your photos are inspiring, im playing along with my DSLR : ) such a joy, i got my first flowers, mini irises OH the joy! from my garden and photographed them!
Selfish question did you get my baby photo email??? if not ill try again! : )
Hmmm Q&A question... what books to you recommend for home schooling prep? My daughter is 15 months old and we are just reading board books ect, but id love some christian inspiration!
Bobbi : )

Rebecca said...

Lana~ Soaky Pokey eggs? Awesome! Dippy Eggs is what I call sunny side up eggs I guess? Matt makes fun of me too...

Thank you Amy! I wonder why you would miss a field trip...you have nothing going on these days.....

Leah T~ I will check out the blog. I guess I did miss it. As for the season, I am so dense I only know it is a good season when I am TOLD. ;-)

As for the recipe-I am in the experimenting phase of whole wheat bread. Looking for that perfect one, you know. This one was good-it may be blog worthy...

Bobbi~ I did get them and emailed you back the very same day. I remember this because it is EXTREMELY RARE for me to email one back in the same day! I just resent the email. let me know if you get it and be sure your email isn't blocking me! Sorry for the mistake-you probably thought me terribly rude!

Anonymous said...

Rebecca I GOT IT : ) Thanks soo soo much!
And not rude... just surprised, it seemed out of the norm for you and all i have read over these couple years!!! : )

Anonymous said...

Rebecca I GOT IT : ) Thanks soo soo much!
And not rude... just surprised, it seemed out of the norm for you and all i have read over these couple years!!! : )

Oh and for Whole wheat bread...
I did it without the vital gluten... AMAZING!!! truly one of the best breads ever.. i have also done the 5 min a day artisan loaf adding a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.. ooohhhh similar yummyness

Tracy said...

We call them dippy eggs, too!

Amanda said...

this is my first experience with maple syrup tapping here on your blog.
I'm enjoying my field trip:)

I'm humbly impressed with your low budget menu planning.


Leah T. said...

My favorite (so far) whole wheat bread comes from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads book. I'm sure you could borrow a copy from the library.

And thanks for visiting! :)

Morgan Stevens said...

Can I buy some??? :)

mary said...

I was showing the maple syrup pictures to my family and my daughter liked that you had lipstick and earrings on while doing so. She thought you looked very pretty. I never noticed it while looking at the pictures. I am known to put my hair up in an ugly clip and be in sweats and I don't do nearly as much as you do.

You have inspired me to be little more put together around the house :)