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Maple Syrup here in poverty patch
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Ron/PA    Posted 10-02-2002 at 05:00:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
EI, We do sap here every year, we don't do alot but enough for our own use and we use alot. We try to do 3-5 gallons a year. Donna does alot of cooking with syrup instead of sugar.
Nothin fancy here, just the way its been done by the family for alot of years.
We drill a tree, insert a plastic tube into the hole and run that into a bucket. Every day I gather the sap and take it back to the house. When we are ready we start to boil it down to syrup. We put it in large pots and keep boiling and as it boils away we have a warmer pot that we use to refill them. If you try to refill it from the cold sap, it takes too long to start boiling again. When you get it boiled down to 1 pot you watch it very close, when it is ready it will foam up, then you shut it off, strain it and jar it up. Wait a minute too long and you can turn 50 gallons of sap into candy!
I takes about 30 to 50 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup, not the thick log cabin stuff just pure syrup.
Here are a few hints on gathering sap.
The temp. must go from above freezing to below freezing for a few days to get the sap flowing.
Trees near streams produce the most sap.
The east side of the trees produce the most sap.
You can tap a large tree one time for every 6" of diameter.
During sunny days with melting snow the sap runs better.
DO NOT try to cook it down in the house, a friend tried that and it WILL peel the wallpaper.
Pic's will follow Late Jan. or early Feb. when the sap starts running.

WallSal55 - One Time I found....    Posted 10-02-2002 at 07:12:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
some great tasting Maple Sugar candies (at Swiss
Colony, I believe). The label said they were made out East, (Vermont?) Just 2 pieces was enough sweetness for me, but I thought I was in heaven!
Can't have sugar any more, but was glad to have
experienced that moment once!

Salmoneye    Posted 10-02-2002 at 05:44:44       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Kettle Syrup is some of the best tasting there is for sure...Not the 'prettiest' but sure as heck has the flavour I want.

I am in the process of gathering enough equipment to start a small-scale sugaring operation here at home...I have enough trees to run 300 taps here and have everything I need but an evaporator so far...I even got an arch for free 3 weeks ago, but no pans...I will have to make a trip up to Leader before February and take my checkbook...

They don't give evaporators away...

Ron/PA    Posted 10-02-2002 at 06:30:43       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Salmoneye, you're right about the price of evaporators. Ours went by the wayside when I was a kid and the snow collapsed the shack. We don't have very many this far south and the chances of finding a used one are zero. We have been able to find local store records where my great great grand parents traded syrup among other things for goods at the local store.
Every year I threaten to come up to your neck of the woods and look for one, but I just can't justify the cost even though a gallon of local syrup went for over $70.00 around here last year.
ahhhh wellll If I just had the ambition to run a still I could stay alot warmer and feel better at the end of a cook!!!! (grin)

Salmoneye    Posted 10-02-2002 at 08:13:51       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Look at the Leader site...then go to 'Catalog'...then click on 'The Leader Half-Pint'...Bet if you are handy you could fix up something along those lines pretty easy and way cheaper than the Leader rig.
I thought about going that route, but I need to be able to boil alot more sap than that will handle...looks perfect for personal use amounts though!

Oops...    Posted 10-02-2002 at 05:45:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
Here is the link to Leader...

EIEIO    Posted 10-02-2002 at 05:34:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks so much. I really appreciate you taking the time to give me an expert answer to my question. When I try finding it on the net it is so involved that I get lost. Printing out your answer so I can save it. Thanks again and tell Donna I said hi.

It amazes me the knowledge that is on the board, better than going to school and more fun!!

Have a rainbow day!

Ron/PA    Posted 10-02-2002 at 06:47:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
EIEIO, PLEASE don't take this info as that of an expert. This is just the way that it has been done here for generations. The correct and easier way will come from those that really know how to do it. All I ever know is what works for us, and that usually involves more work or money than is necessary.
Most of our practices in this kind of thing are primitive and very outdated. However they are also the kind of things I enjoy most about being on the farm.
Hope you give it a try, it's our first binge into spring when the winter blah's have got their grip on you.

Sid    Posted 10-02-2002 at 18:42:16       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Ron when you put it in jars do you have to use self sealing jars like you do to can fruit and such

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