It’s February and it looks like Spring might just come early for Minnesota this year. Yes, March is known for abundant snow. Could we get 66 inches like they did back in March 1965 (wikipedia fact)? The way our weather has been this year, it would be rain instead. Spring isn’t just rain and flowers for us anymore. This will be our fourth year tapping maple trees and harvesting the sap for something I don’t think I’ll ever be able to live without. Using syrup instead of sugar cane is wonderful in all the recipes I’ve tried (just use the correct ratios). I’m fortunate I don’t have to use sugar beet sugar anymore due to the fact GMO variety make up approximately 95% of the crop.
Tomorrow, we start tapping. Eighteen days earlier than last year. It is likely to be warm (50F is shorts weather in Minnesota), sunny and wet in the woods.
Every year we’ve had a great product, so the trees and land do not need to change, it’s mainly our time input that could use some help. Though much of what we’re doing will be the same, our boiler set up will be slightly different this year. This will hopefully cut down on the time it takes to boil down 40 + gallons of sap into 1 gallon of syrup. We’ve used milk jugs and buckets in the past, but have found we like sap bags best and will continue to use those. Our clips, to hold the bag to the tree, are looking more user friendly as well. And the large food grade collection barrels are the same too, though they will need a good cleaning this week. So with all that said, once the taps are in the trees we just watch and wait.
If you’re interested in learning more about our maple syrup: click here.
If you want to see our past endeavors: click here.
Thanks for reading, Katie