My new favorite sign of Spring!

Our youngest daughter, who has a degree in  Outdoor Education (there is a longer title but I can’t recall it all), text messaged me saying…”it’s time to tap trees!” This is something I have never done, and my quick answer was that we have no Maples on the farm. We have lots of Oaks, Walnuts, Shagbark Hickories, etc. She explained that Box Elder trees are in the Maple family. We took out our Box Elders but the neighbors have plenty to go around. I banded together with my wonderful neighbor and despite the rain, she and the kids and I went out on a mini adventure to their stream area where they have many Box Elder trees. Here we are at work…

me,j and n tapping

My little helpers were wonderful, they even came with a ladle, in case it poured out:) We tried it the old fashioned way, with a Brace and Bit drill, and the kids were helping with it, but we didn’t get more than about an inch into the tree. So much for old fashioned, we pulled out the ‘ol power drill and sunk the holes in that way and look what happened! (I thought I could load the video which so nicely went “plink, plink, plink” as the drops of sap fell in but in lieu of that here is a still shot.)

plink

This was such a sweet sound when it began to plink! Not that that isn’t exactly what we expected, but it was still exciting. My neighbor reported that we have gathered 3 gallons of sap so far! This will be a fun experiment. I am going to have to track down some cinder blocks to build an evaporator or trust myself with our not very heavy duty tripod grate over the fire. Haven’t decided yet…

buckets on tree

Sweet, huh?

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