Rosey the Riveter

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Maple Syrup!

We just returned from a week back 'home' over Spring Break.  We were lucky enough to catch the tail end of maple-syrup season, and I brought several gallons of it back for friends who wanted their own taste of New England.

My brother and his wife, Cheri, live in this beautiful home on 80+acres in Southern NH where they run the Blue Y Farm.  The maple trees on the property have been tapped for years... the house is only a few years younger than this country! 
There is a lot of work involved in making maple syrup, so I thought I'd do a post about it so those here in VA can see what it entails.

First, the trees are 'tapped'.  This involves drilling a small hole and inserting a pipe with a small notch on it to hold the buckets.  When nights are cold and days are warm, the sap runs and fills the buckets.
Once, and sometimes twice, a day, the buckets are emptied into a large holding tank. 
The tank is then parked near the sugar shack, where the sap is slowly drained into the evaporator.
(You can see the roof of the shack in the far left of the photo.)  The sap is warmed as it flows through the copper tubing around the 'chimney' of the evaporator.
It is heated until it gets close to the boiling point.  You can see the steam evaporating the water.
Big Strong Brother then brings a batch to the kitchen, where Cheri finishes the process.
She brings the sap to a boil (which takes forever!) and then filters it to remove any impurities.
It is then bottled up into containers with covers that will seal.
It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup, not to mention many (wo)man-hours to make it happen!!!


  1. What an amazing peek into this process! Thanks for sharing your Spring Break experience.

  2. Amazing! I had no idea it took 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup! Thanks for schooling us today! What a lovely homestead!

  3. Nice post! The next time you head up to New England, let me know. I'd dearly love some homemade maple syrup, and I'd be happy to pay you for it if you'd be willing to lug it back! I lived in New England for 15 years and can't stand to buy any kind of syrup except the "real thing."