hang buckets on trees,
collect the sap by hand (with help from friends!),
[picture(s) of us collecting]
and boil it down in an evaporator. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make a single gallon of syrup! So to make that happen, we go through a lot of wood,
[picture of wood on side of shack]
and spend a lot of time with friends in our ‘sugar shack’,
[picture(s) of party]
By the end of the season (which can be anywhere from two to six weeks – it all depends on the weather, which has to be below freezing at night and above freezing during the day), we’re usually pretty tired, but in a good year we’re able to make both a decent amount of syrup (70 gallons or so, from 300-500 buckets) and a number of new friends.
We’re also experimenting with other products, like maple candies,
[picture of candies]
and always open to suggestions about new things to try.
Considering how much work this is, it’s not really profitable for us. But it’s a great opportunity to get together with friends and have fun, and the revenue goes into capital improvements on the property – for example, to upgrade solar panels, buy a sawmill, and so on. Coming out for a day or two of sugaring is a great way to support our efforts!