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

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A March Project: Maple Syrupping




Since Matt's dad went and got out of the syrupping business, we are on our own in the making of maple syrup from now on.  What with Matt being used to a big-time evaporator and fancy-schmancy tubing and me never having needed to REALLY know how to do it...this year will be a trial run into the small scale, unprofessional backyard maple syrupping year.  The first year of many.  Unless I screw the whole thing up- which could happen.  Knowing me.

We have no professional supplies- with the exception of a few old (but bonafide) sap buckets and spiles that Gary let us use.  We have no hydrometer, no evaporator and HAD no pans to boil in until my kind brother in law gave me the most PERFECT chafing dishes ever.

Until we get a proper outdoor evaporator thrown together built, I thought our first run we would try on our woodstove in the basement.  It is already burning wood to heat our home- so why not?  It's in the basement, underneath of any potential wallpaper stripping. 

But not knowing just exactly what I am doing- we are all taking many trips down cellar to check on the progress of things.  So far so good. 

If you look at the picture with the bucket bedecked tree with a house in the distance...that would be our house.  That's the trek we must make to bring back our sap and we have to ford the ever-growing creek to get there.  The warm weather gets the sap flowing but the creek with it- so we bless and curse the mild weather.  But mostly bless, because crossing a raging creek or not, I am sick to death of snow and cold and splitting wood and burning wood and splitting more wood and running out of wood and hauling wood and just THINKING about wood, in general.

 I know just how Laura felt, it has been a long winter.


Bonnie said...

I have been eagerly waiting for this post to see just what kind of pans you were getting. Because this time next year (if everything goes the way we hope it does and the seller is eager to agree) I just might be tapping our own half-pint sized sugar bush (and all without moving).
Long winter indeed. Everyone has been saying that. Honey said she's "sick of living in Narnia".

Courtney said...

I know that must be a lot of work. I hope the syrup turns out wonderfully!

Leah said...

If it turns out well, would you be into selling some, somehow? Buying real organic maple syrup out in my parts can get expensive quickly. Just a thought. :)

beth said...

Love your closing line!


Megan @ Purple Dancing Dahlias said...

Instead of syrup this year we are focusing on our bees. Seeing your pictures makes me want to set everything up for syrup :)

Just an FYI, if you do it in the house the steam off the sap is sticky and your walls become sticky and dust covered. It is gross. My hubby got to do it indoors one year and that was it. We also found that finishing the syrup in big boiling pans doesn't work all that well. Finishing in smaller pots on the stove was what we had to do.

Leah T. said...

We sure do miss our maple trees and syrup! I'm sure it will turn out wonderfully! My Aunt Nancy makes syrup in her basement every spring with no (sticky) issues! She probably does finish it in pots on her range, though.

A resounding INDEED from me, too, as to the long winter. We are so ready for spring!!!

Rebecca said...

Leah- eventually we hope to be a bit bigger of an industry at which point we totally would. For now, I just hope to make enough that our family can survive until next season. Because with Newmans, syrup is a life or death thing. ;-)

Megan- we've been doing it on our woodstove down cellar (it is unfinished and hideous) and it has worked out wonderfully well. And yes, I finish it up in the kitchen. Someday I hope to have an evaporator contraption but for now, it will work.