Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Homestead Tips on Tuesday: Maple Syrup

Real (from a tree) Maple syrup….. When I say those words do you think of Vermont? Maybe you think of the high price associated with buying it. Well I am here to tell you that you can make your own and you don’t even have to live in Vermont to do it!!

While most people are by now ready for spring to get here, and trust me, I long for it too….. I just keep telling myself that these -30 days are going to make for an amazing sap run, which means jars upon jars of liquid gold in my pantry. The weather plays a major role in syrup production. If the ground doesn’t freeze, well kiss the sap run goodbye. So I will take my snowy frozen winter, all the time reminding myself that sap season is coming.

Here is something for you to think about…. We only tap three trees a year and we have not only enough syrup for ourselves but plenty to share with friends and family. So don’t think you can’t do this, because you can! But you need to know how to get started. The first thing to do is identify your Maple trees. Sugar Maples are the best for tapping because they have a higher sugar content in their sap, but I am here to tell you, red and silver Maples work just fine!!

But what about the cost of equipment for this little project? Well if you go on Amazon and buy a starter kit (for three taps/buckets) your looking at dropping well over $100. Wait, breath, don’t buy that!!! Seriously, don’t do it. You can make all your own equipment for under $10 and get way more taps/buckets. We make all our own equipment and so can you! We even built our own evaporator for around $50.… let’s see you buy one of those on Amazon! But you don’t NEED an evaporator, you can boil it in a pan, we just got fancy since we have been doing it a while.

But how do you tap a tree? How do you boil sap? I know there are a lot of questions running through your head right now. Slow down, I got you covered. We cover all this stuff on our blog in our Maple Syrup section and I will list links to all that information. What you need to know right this second is the sap usually starts to flow the end of February, beginning of March. You have time to read! You have time to make your own equipment, you have time to slow down and enjoy a new adventure that ends in yummy breakfast delight. Because YOU can make your own Maple syrup!!!!

The basics of making Maple Syrup

Make your own equipment

How to put in your taps

Turning your sap into liquid gold

I hope we have peaked your interest and you give serious consideration to trying this homesteading skill. It really is a fun family project that our oldest country kid looks forward to every year. If you have a Maple tree (or get a neighbor’s permission to tap one of theirs) it doesn’t matter where you live, you, yes, YOU can make your own Maple Syrup!!! And then your family and friends will beg you for it. And then you give them the link to this post and tell them to go make their own!

The oldest country kid collecting sap


**Homestead Tips on Tuesday is a weekly series where we help you learn skills, tips, and trick to help you on your journey of homesteading. Many places post list of things you should/could do as far as homesteading skill, but I feel lists are at times overwhelming and can make people give up before they even start. So every Tuesday I share one thing for you to try or consider. I hope you join us every Tuesday and I would love to hear about your adventures with each weeks topic.**


32 comments:

  1. I have wanted to try this with our maple tree since we moved into this house, three years ago. You've inspired me. I think this will be our year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You will have a blast :) And the envy of your friends! LOL

      Delete
  2. OMG, that is SO NEAT!!! I had no idea you could tap your own trees for syrup. I'm not sure I have any maple trees near me, but lord knows it's been freezing here for months so will have to keep my eyes open :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing! LOL First the trees, next thing you know you will be rendering lard!

      Delete
  3. We bought nothing. used PVC pipes for taps, a milk jug hung with a wire wrapped around a nail above the tap and done. I cooked mine indoors with doors open to unused rooms and window oipen slightly and woodstove going. Nos tanding outside freezing for me. Tapped 7 trees, non-sugar maple, and got 26 gal. sap, but started late. To anyone , where did you think maple syurup came from? You can do poplar, birch, walnut also. can't do those as I don't have any big enough. It's yummy and REAL. Good post. Deb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know you can do other trees but the sugar content is so low. Thanks for visiting and I hope you get more then 26 gallons of sap this year!!!

      Delete
  4. I would love this! You are living my alter ego. :) Sadly we live in suburbia at the moment in a new development with 3 little trees none of which are maple. But ONE DAY Mindie, one day...

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is amazing. It has made me want to give this a try! Thanks for the tips.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sadly we have zero maples around us. Nothing but pines, oaks and gum trees. I've always wanted to try tapping my own trees though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sorry your trees are naughty and not maples :(

      Delete
  7. I love this! I am not sure that I could manage it though, because we don't have any maples on our property that I am aware of.... I guess I could always go up to my grandmother's but she is 45 minutes away, and I'd have to go every day to collect.... Wouldn't I?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When the sap is running hard... it could be every few hours that you have to collect. Some days it feels like that is all I do! LOL

      Delete
  8. Thinking of Quebec for maple syrup! and would love to have some in my cupboard right now =)
    thx for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No matter where it comes from it is yummy :)

      Delete
  9. Very interesting. Thanks for the great tips on Maple Syrup - some of this I knew but not all of it. Visiting from Tuesday With a Twist Blog Hop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting and I hop you do some tapping!

      Delete
  10. that is fantastic. I don't think we have many maples here on our little island but when I lived in NH there were plenty of people tapping trees.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We only tap 3 trees a year and get more then enough :) All it takes is a tree.... one.... just one LOL

      Delete
  11. Thanks for your great post! I am excited to give this a try, although we only have 2 maples. You mentioned that when the sap is running hard, you collect every few hours? I'm assuming that is during the day and that it slows down at night when the temps cool? Or do I need to collect at night too? Visiting from Real Food Fridays Blog Hop

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Forgot to click Notify to receive replies. :)

      Delete
    2. During the day, when the temps are up and the sun is shining it can get crazy! LOL We have had some be VERY full first thing in the morning, but the sap flow drops at night. We do not go out and collect at night.

      Delete
  12. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Friday. Love your use of the old milk jugs - that's what we use for sap collection, too!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Mindie, I just love this so much and thank you for sharing with us at Best of the Weekend - pinned! All your directions and tips are great! Hope you had a happy weekend and enjoy your week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww thanks for the kind words and the pin!

      Delete
  14. Wow! I didn't know this. Thank you for sharing at Monday Handmadee linkup party

    ReplyDelete
  15. You may have just made my day... Going to see if I can find any Maple trees around here! :D Thanks for linking up at My Favorite Things! http://timeforseason.blogspot.com/2014/02/my-favorite-things-saturdays-215.html

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh I do wish we had some maple, usually it wouldn't matter because it doesn't get real cold here in Louisiana. This year however was different a long winter with freezing days, yes even the south is ready for spring. Love to see you posting on Real Food Fridays.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the world is ready for spring! It has been a hard winter this year.

      Delete

Print