Tag Archives: maple syrup

the Force of sap

It takes a one-tree sugar bush four years to fully mature. Either that or we just had good sap weather. We hit our all-time record for sap production: 21.5 litres! Hooray! Enough for a respectable-sized bottle of syrup!

Then I introduced my children to Star Wars and we started watching the movies together. I got into it and was sitting upstairs with them happily watching Return of the Jedi and answering questions from the audience:

“How come when Jabba the Hut talks the words are up on the screen but not for R2D2 or Chewbacca?

When they burned Darth Vader was the actor already dead and in the suit or did they just burn the suit?

Did Obiwan start training Luke but Yoda finished training him? But both Luke’s teachers died.

Does Princess Leia know she has the Force? How? Oh yeah, she knew Luke was calling her when he was hanging under the Cloud City.

When the Ewoks are drumming on the Storm Trooper helmets are their heads still in them?”  

This went on for some time and I forgot I was boiling sap outside. I burned five litres of sweet beautiful sap into a smokey singed mess that nearly ruined my best pot.

Still, that left 16.5 litres to be (carefully this time!) reduced to 500ml of syrup. Somehow I’m getting more than the 40:1 ratio but I’m not complaining. Pulling the spile today. Thanks, One-Tree! May the Force be with you.


the sap is running

I tapped the tree on Saturday. Three days later I’ve got 2 litres! That’s more than the total sap yield for dismal 2012. The weather’s a bit warmer than I’d like for maximum sap seepage. We’re currently under winter storm warning and all we hear is rain. Still, hope remains high for syrup season 2013:


maple syrup fail

The tree is in full leaf and the sap hasn’t flowed for weeks. This update is overdue but first I had to grieve the complete failure of syrup season 2012.  Final yield of sap: 1600ml. Final yield of syrup: 1600 ÷ 40 = don’t-bother-boiling-it-down.


A friend’s tree down the block had a good run. I don’t know why our tree didn’t. We tapped earlier than ever before – in February. The tree also budded earlier than it has before thanks to the summer-like weather in March.

Global warming is ruining my crop!

one year in 90 seconds

Happy New Year!

Last year I took a photo out the back window every day. Yesterday I took the last one. They’re a bit dull to look at on the Shuttercal site so rolled them all into this video. Watch for the sap bucket in March!

end of syrup season

I was watching the buds form on the maple tree and wondering when I should pull the spile. Then we had a bunch of kids over playing in the backyard this weekend and one of them pulled it out! I was worried I’d miss a day or two of sap flow which actually makes a difference to the final syrup crop when you’re only dealing with one tree. However, I think it was time and I couldn’t be bothered to put the thing back in again so that was the end of 2011 sap collection. Final yield: 17 litres.

I did the final boil-off this morning and filtered it through a cloth into an old syrup bottle and jar. I’m much more interested in the process of syrup making than I am in the final product so now I have to remember to actually make pancakes and use this stuff up before next spring.

drip, drip, drip

This makes me happy:

syrup 2011

I tapped the tree today. I’m hoping for a repeat of bountiful 2009 and not a repeat of pitiful 2010. The sap is flowing! Stay tuned…