Well it is maple syrup season again. I love it. It used to be quite a family activity when the kids were small. We would choose a couple of 20 inch diameter maples on the edge of the bush, drill our holes, push in the spiles and hang the buckets. March was the time. From the two trees we would get over the month of March enough sap to make about 2 gallons of syrup; enough to get us through the year. All of our syrup equipment is purchased at the local TSC store and it is cheap. $10 for two trees. We were fascinated with making the syrup ourselves. We would casually boil it down on the wood-stove; the wood-stove that we use to heat the house. You don’t even have to boil it, a high heat evaporation will do. Just transfer it to your stove at the end so you can boil it and monitor it so it doesn’t burn. Filter it and put it in Mason Jars. Done. You just have to make sure you stop collecting sap when it turns cloudy. Cloudy sap makes funky syrup.
We still do it the same way. A few more buckets to keep a guy who is trying maple syrup beer supplied. The only difference is that the kids now prefer to eat it rather than make it! I recommend anyone with young children tap a tree in their yard or neighbourhood. It is a great activity.