Holchin Homestead 2014 Farm Season Started

The warm weather this weekend got the sap flowing and our first try at maple sugaring.  We have four taps in two trees and in the first day gathered about three gallons sap.  Daytime freezing temperatures return this week, so we aren’t concerned about having more sap than space just yet.  But we did decide to boil down the three gallons to two quarts of “proto syrup” that will be easier to store.  The two quarts will become about one cup of syrup.

I'm trekking out to one of our trees.

I’m trekking out to one of our trees.

Collection jug hooked up to the tap and hose.

Collection jug hooked up to the tap and hose.

Snap caps make it easy to pull the jug for collection

Snap caps make it easy to pull the jug for collection

We are using a snow bank for out door sap storage.

We are using a snow bank for out door sap storage.  The stock pot is just poking out as I dig it out.

The first day's haul. Carefully working with the clear liquid in reused water jugs makes it feel kind of like boot legging.

The first day’s haul. Carefully working with the clear liquid in reused water jugs makes it feel kind of like I’m making moonshine.

Boiled down proto syrup.  It is still about as thin as water and has a noticeable sweetness and maple flavor.

Boiled down proto syrup. It is still about as thin as water and has a noticeable sweetness and maple flavor.

February 26 update
We finished the syrup this evening. The syrup ended up pretty thin, but it was a good sweetness and had a good maple flavor so decided it was ready. We got about a pint out the 3 gallons of sap. Fresh syrup required a pancake dinner to celebrate. No pictures, we ate them too fast.

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