A Family Tradition of Maple Syrup
This winter has been a great year for making maple syrup! Every winter our family makes our own supply of maple syrup, for our personal consumption. Our family regards homemade maple syrup so highly, that we consider it a food group; using it as a natural sweetener for just about everything! The whole family takes turn riding around on the tractor with a collection bin strapped to the front it. We ride from tree to tree, collecting the sap of our maple trees, to boil for homemade maple syrup.
For those of you who aren't familiar with making maple syrup, let us give you a quick run down. Typically sometime in late winter the temperature finally breaks! Once it is consistently above freezing by mid-day, for over a week or so, we begin to tap our Maple trees with small spickets called 'spiles.' From the spiles, we hang a tin pales, to collect the sap droplets from the maple trees. We collect pales of sap daily (depending on the trees) until we have enough for a boil. In 'dry' years there isn't enough sap in our pales to collect daily, but this year we could hardly keep up! We usually wait until we have well over 200 gallons of sap to boil, because the golden rule of making syrup is '40 gallons of sap makes 1 gallon of maple syrup.'
We are lucky to have such a high population of Sugar Maples at Glen Ellis, because it makes our syrup extra sweet; because sugar maples naturally have a higher sugar content. Every year we claim that its the best maple syrup yet, but we swear its true! We made out with over 10 gallons of maple syrup this year! For those of you who make your own, cheers to a great season! Now onto spring clean up, for the 2018 camp season!
See you guys soon,