As we settle into our second year on our farm, we are beginning to develop our annual rhythm of things that happen each season.
Ordering seeds, turkeys and chickens; hatching turkeys, tapping trees, shearing, getting the garden prepared, moving everyone out to pasture, mucking the deep litter out of the barn.
A couple of weekends ago Papa Bear and I went out and tapped our whopping 5 maple trees, and by this weekend we had collected enough sap to start boiling it down into syrup.
Last year we made the mistake of boiling down 8 gallons of sap inside our kitchen.
Do not do this. Just don't.
So this year we got a turkey fryer to do the bulk of the boiling.
It's been working awesome so far. It holds 5 gallons of sap and brings it to a boil SO much faster than the stove. Plus then you don't get 7.75 gallons of maple vapor running amuck in your house.
Moisture is good. 7.75 gallons of moisture in a small space is bad.
We hope to get a little more sap next weekend and finish boiling it all down. I doubt we'll get more than a couple of pints this year. It hasn't been a good run, and we have very few trees.
But we sure have enjoyed the little bit of syrup we made last year, and no doubt we'll enjoy this year's, too. It tastes especially sweet knowing it came from your own land, and the labor of your own hands.