Monday, March 14, 2011

tappin' it

I've wanted to try making maple syrup for years.  This spring I finally made the effort to find the equipment I needed and tap the 36" diameter silver maple in our side yard.  

It doesn't take much.  I was able to find a spile (the little spigot thing) at Fleet Farm, and bought a wood boring drill bit and metal pail (with cool logo on the front) at the local Ace hardware.  It took maybe 5 minutes to bore the hole, hammer in the spile and within a few minutes, sap was flowing into the bucket.

There wasn't a lot of it.  We left to go to our daughter's preschool parent-teacher conference (I didn't think we'd have to do these for preschool, but what to I know?) and when we came back there were a few ounces of sap in the bucket, maybe enough to fill half a shot glass.  If I'm lucky.

It's going to take a lot more than that to keep us in syrup for the year, but I'm hoping that the warmup that's predicted for this week will kick the sap flow up a notch.  The spring weeks with above-freezing days and below-freezing nights are supposed to be the best time to do this, and it looks like that's going to be our weather pattern for the next week or two, so I'm excited to see what's going to happen.

My son thought this all was pretty cool.  Any time I get out power tools, he gets excited, and that includes the cordless drill I used to drill the hole.  I actually have an old manual drill I bought years ago at an estate sale that I thought I might use, but I couldn't find the bits, and really, the cordless is a lot faster anyway.  

Our Piracicaba broccoli seeds arrived today, by the way.  Since Fedco was sold out, I ordered them from Hudson Valley Seed Library, and they arrived within a few days!  I should have ordered more from them.  Thanks fellas!  Not that I'll actually be able to plant them anytime soon, but it's nice to have all of my seeds here so I can start planning where everything will go.

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