Friday, January 06, 2006

Redneck Sugaring!

A local old timer who grew up on a farm a mile or two away told me that back when he was a boy his father used to tap their maple trees.

"He would cut a "V" into the trunk, hammer in a table knife and hang a bucket to catch the sap."

So, a couple of months ago while the maples where still identifiable by their leaves Ken and I went up the hill by the side of the house and marked all the larger ones with engineering tape.

The time to start sugaring is when the night time temperatures drop below freezing but the daytime temperatures warm up into the 40's.

Up in New Hampshire my neighbours would usually begin sugaring sometime in March but since we are so much farther south I figure it will probably be quite a bit earlier here but I'm not sure exactly when. Well, this week we suddenly broke out of our deep freeze and into the 50's! They're now predicting a few days of just the temperatures needed for sugaring.

Oooh, what to do? I had intended to order some of the proper metal spiles and didn't get around to it. So, in my panic at maybe missing the window of opportunity I decided to resort to the table knife method!

This particular tree isn't in the best of shape because of having a fence nailed to it at one time. I wasn't going to tap it but yesterday I was reading up on the subject and one guy said he gets the sweetest sap from the most disfigured trees! So I decided to try this one after all.
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