A Maple Being Tapped for Syrup
As a kid growing up in New England, and spending a lot of time at our house in Vermont, early Spring was one of my favourite times. It sometimes meant really excellent Spring skiing, but it also meant Maple Syrup time!
Our cottage in Deerfield, Nova Scotia is now the site of similar efforts, as our neighbours have taken up a kind of hobby maple syrup operation. The taps are put out in late February or early March, depending on the weather, and they collect the sap by hand and then boil the sap into syrup on a homemade boiler in their very own sugar shack. It’s great fun to watch, and this March Break we got to take our grandson Theo to see the process.
The trees in our area are not really sugar maples, they’re red maples for the most part, and so they yield a bit less syrup per litre of sap – about 85 to 1 – that is, one needs 85 litres of sap to make a single litre of maple syrup! It’s a labour of love as it’s time consuming and one of those jobs that’s all in a rush – collect and boil can happen quickly when the sap really gets running.
We appreciate the efforts, though, as it’s nice to see the trees on our property being used this way. And, of course, our neighbours are very generous and not only showed Theo the way the syrup is made, but gave him (and us) a bottle of the golden liquid to take home!
He had it on waffles this morning and declared it very good.