Maple Syrup season, a sure sign of spring!

I have spent more years than I can recall working the sugar bush, times etched clearly in my memory..not easy work, mind you, but extremely rewarding and downright tasty!

Running the sap lines, repairing breaks, tapping, watching the evaporator, taking-off syrup and running the old creaky canner. The whole operation was a hoot right down to the moment when that first batch of syrup comes off…man, it tastes the best when its warm!

There is a real science involved in any maple syrup operation from understanding the sap’s sugar content at various times of the year, knowing the colour, taste and density of different grades of syrup, to skills like understanding how to build and maintain the perfect fire to keep your evaporator going steady.

Old school syrup producers have never used modern gauges and I’m sure never worried about it either. They can read more in the webbing off their ladle than a thousand sophisticated gauges could ever read..now that is science in itself.

The final product is a thing of beauty and there is really nothing in the world that compares to the taste of fresh maple syrup or taffy on snow.

Now get out there and enjoy some pure Canadian goodness!!

The forecast looks good for sap to run over the next week or so and lets hope favorable temperatures remain long enough for a great season!

 

Outdoorsguy

19 thoughts on “Maple Syrup season, a sure sign of spring!”

  1. I know Trapper is busy with his maple syrup production . Says the season could be a short one. Never tried it but I will some day

    1. imacdon too will be right into it…he even gave me two bottles of the product couple of springs back..yum yum!!
      Hopefully they manage a few good boiling days out of it this year!

      Forecast not as good anymore at least locally..getting too hot during the day..and not freezing hard enough at night.

      Outdoorsguy

  2. Put the buckets out on the weekend. Did a gather tonight. 85 gals of sap.
    Boiling tomorrow, Busy busy. Heard a tom gobbling this morning about 7:30.

    1. Well imacdon, I wish all the best..hope you can make a ton this year!!

      Chessy, does your friend down the road still tap in the spring??

      Outdoorsguy

  3. We’ve tapped and have boiled 2 small batches so far. We’ve got 2 litres of finished product on the table. Hoping for more but the sap is running slow, as you know ideal conditions are -10° at night to +10° during the day. Our temps have barely dipped below 0° at night so far.

    Just got a copy of the 2016 Lapierre equipment catalogue……Maple syrup makers candy store.

    http://www.equipementsderabliere.elapierre.com/produits_en.asp?no=2

  4. First boil 80 gallons, got 8.2 L of syrup. Not a bad ratio for the first boil. Just finished 72 gallons, Will bring it down tomorrow. Making Maple syrup is a good work out. I would say better than going to the gym. Plus maple syrup is good for you.

    1. In fact it was a good day for sap, Iggy! My daughter and I always tap the trees on our property and neighbour’s property. A mix of sugar maple, red maple and we even tapped a Silver maple this year. Of course ALL maple trees will produce syrup, the sugar content tends to be higher in sugar maples.

      Its just fun boiling it down and a nice project to do with the kids. We went to TSC store to get some more spigots and pails, but they were mostly sold-out. Ended-up getting some tapping supplies at Ritchie’s Feed & Seed. I was there getting deer feed anyway.

      Oh, guess I hadn’t mentioned the deer feeding this winter? I meant to post something earlier in Feb about it. Its been 5 winters at least since the deer yarded in behind my place. They all left Jan 7th, and returned 1 month later on Feb 8th and have been coming every day since then. I’ve had 8 deer(6 does/fawn, 2 bucks) fulltime since then and they’re averaging 60-70 pounds of pelletized deer feed per week. The cost is starting to add-up..hehe

      I’ll be expecting the flack now from those who feel that supplemental deer feeding is bad, but at least I know the 8 animals around my place managed to make it through a fairly tough winter!

      Outdoorsguy

  5. Outdoors guy – “fairly tough winter”? Did you move? 😉
    I won’t get into the feeding controversy, it’s your money and your time however I will say that If I was your neighbor I would have one of those grain fed beasts come fall, (and blame it on predators.)
    I spent last week hard water walleye fishing on a private lake. Apparently the residents want to increase wallies size potential so they encouraged us to eat all the 2-3lbrs we could. I held my end of the bargain. Tossed in a nice perch feed too.
    btw – The offer to fill a canoe seat on your annual trout trip still stands if you are looking for a pack mule.

    1. Yes in fact I did move Johan, so far away that you’d never ever find me come spring, when its time to head back to that secret trout lake.

      Heyohh!!

      Outdoorsguy

    2. Ok Johan, here’s one for you. What is harder on the deer population, a winter that is abnormally cold with less than average snow depth? Or a winter like we just had, warmer than usual but with 3-4 feet of snow in the bush?

      Outdoorsguy

  6. I would expect 3-4 feet of snow, but not many places around here can boast that much snow in the woods. I was a few hours north last week and while there was still a foot or 2 of snow in Bracebridge, 20 minutes away there wasn’t much. I gauge winters around here by whether the deer head to the yards. They didn’t leave this year. The few that are around here that is.
    Here’s the deal; I will let you drive my truck, with me in it, so you can do your annual truck review on the way to the trout lakes. You only ever write about new vehicles; of course they ride like a new one, but what readers really want to know is how they last and what they are like after they are lovingly used. 😉

    1. Johan, at one point this winter the QC Laurentians where our hunt camp is (just two hours north) had 42″ of snow in the bush! Makes its rather difficult for any bush dwelling animal to get around easily. We didn’t have a lot less than that, just east of Ottawa, and I know the reason these 8 deer stuck around my place for the first time in years and it was definitely snow depth.

      Hmm..ok Johan, so now your bribing me with use of a truck to drive. Is it a Ford or Toyota? Lets just say when we arrived at my usual camping spot, would there be someone willing to set-up the tent and make camp? My reels will need new line, what about that?? And what about cold beer to drink, watching you do all this work can make a guy awfully thirsty! Man, I’m starting to like this..hehe

      Outdoorsguy

  7. Toyota makes trucks? When you’ve driven the best you don’t notice the rest…
    I thought you were closer to Ottawa where the temps hovered at 18C at Christmas. Deep snow is the reason they leave my area and yard up around Easton’s corners. I suspect they wouldn’t venture too far from the food source even if the snow wasn’t deep. My bud feeds them as well in his back yard so he gets to watch the herd dynamics. Interesting to watch the order.

  8. 30 000 gallons of sap last week… yesterday from the low to the high all his tanks are full again .. but the sad part is the trees are starting to bud and even next week with the cold coming back again it will be all over with

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