Monday, March 7, 2016
We're Such Saps
Spring is in the air!
We thought it would be a fun process for the kids to see all the steps involved in maple syrup. Our yearly visits to the sugar bush in Fenwick, NS has been a highlight of our spring each year and even though we see how sap becomes syrup, it's a learning experience for the kids to learn the steps and appreciate the lengthy process involved in sugaring.
While we may only have 2 maple trees on the property, it has been enough for a very small scale operation. It takes us a while to have enough sap to boil, so we freeze sap during the week and when we have enough, anything more than 5 gallons, we begin the boil. Since sap generally has a 40 to 1 ratio, 5 gallons boiled down amounted to 2 cups of syrup.
We started boiling on the fire pit to reduce the volume enough to fit the sap into one large pot before moving to the propane burner. This part of the experience was the most fun for the kids and we're currently working on a cinder block wood stove idea for our next boil as it's more efficient and will help use up some of the brush around the property.
For our first boil, once the volume was reduced enough, we moved the sap from the fire pit to the propane burner and basically babysat it for most of the day to ensure the wind wasn't blowing out the flame. When the temperature reached about 215 degrees, we moved it inside to watch it more carefully and once it reaches 219, the syrup is complete!