We used to put out 200 taps, but this year we were just under 100. We don't have a market for lots of syrup anymore as we don't go to farmer's markets or market it or sell it wholesale as we have in the past. We make enough for our own use, for some sales, some donations and some gifts. That seems to be the level at which we are comfortable with.
Some photos from this season -- we tapped the first trees March 15th and probably will get the last run on about April 15th as the forecast is for extended mild weather after that.
|We used to use the cabin as our syruping headquarters, but since we moved into the farm 3 miles away, we don't even open it until May when the water system can be hooked up. When one gets older conveniences are more of a lure!|
|When we started there was deep snow from a late February storm.|
|Two test taps March 15th. They had stopped running April 12th. We added 2 more taps to that tree a week later and they are still running good as of April 13th. Tap holes are good for about a month.|
|The sap shed we built in 2009 is reasonably handy. We use our 1947 Ford 2N for sap hauling.|
|The 1958 sap pan made in Dresser WI by the tinsmith made another year without problems. Dad had it made after trying a big round kettle, then two wood sided pans and finally this one.|
|The maple woods is about 40 acres on Orr Lake. Lots of spring ponds, hills and old maples with many new maples coming up that will be ready to tap in a few years.|
|Some mornings the buckets have ice on the sap. We discard most of it -- the ice is water and the remaining sap gets concentrated with more sugar.|