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
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.