Since moving to Laurelville, my family has tried to gain a greater sense of oneness with the creation around us. As part of that, we began thinking last fall about tapping some maple trees to make syrup.

In preparation for the possibility, we marked a number of sugar maples (while we could still identify the trees by their leaves). And last week, we decided to take the plunge (at least on a small-scale) and ¬†purchased some sugaring supplies from Lehman’s. Everything arrived last Friday.

Beginner's sugaring equipment from Lehman's

(The spiles were made in Canada. That is probably important for good syrup.)

Yesterday, we noticed that the weather for the coming week might get the sap flowing (freezing at night, warmer in the day)…

Forecast - February 24, 2013…so we decided to go out in the afternoon to tap three of the maples we had marked in the fall.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(In the close-up of the sugaring bag, take note of all the sapsucker holes nearby.)

This afternoon, we checked on the bags and found the sap flowing nicely. From the three trees, we gathered about five quarts of sap and immediately started to boil things down…

BoilingAfter about two-hours of boiling, we knew the syrup was about ready, based on the amount of taste-testing…

Tasting…or rather, based on the elevated boiling point – seven degrees above normal. The final volume was about 1/40 of the original volume. Twenty cups boiled down to half a cup.

A half cupI think it’s the tastiest syrup I’ve ever tried. Pancakes in the morning!

The final product
The final product