Times sure have changed since I saw the last tap run for Maple Syrup. 

If my memory sets me correctly, Aunt Lola Larmour had one of the biggest Sugar Bushes around back when I was only well that high. Anyway it was an experience to go to her big farm house and wait while the team was hooked up to the sleigh.  We traveled the paths through the sugar bush jumping off the sleigh and grabbing the tin pails that were attached to the metal spouts and empty the pails into the vat on the back of the sleigh.  The best part was
 arriving back at the log cabin in the woods and the smell of the wood burning while it boiled off the water from the sap, oh the smell of maple and wood burning brings back the memory in a flash.  As young-ins we waited impatiently until test time and gathered around a fresh pail of snow while aunt Lola poured some test out onto the snow and we got to eat it up, snow candy.

Elmo will soon be hooked up and making the trip to the bush but for now we took Dad’s Truck

  

Things have changed a little today at a sugar bush 

Yesterday The French Gardener and I drove out to Shadow Hill Farms, met with Dewar and Victoria and gave them a hand at drilling and tapping and running spouts and hoses into pails. Yup, times have changed but the Maple Syrup Sap hasn’t changed much, as soon as the spout went in the sap started to run, and before us was the makings of a new Sugar Bush. 

So here is how to tap today

Never mind hooking up the sleigh to the team, because the horse power in dad’s truck should take us to the sugar bush. When we get stuck we will just use the tractor to pull us out and keep going.  When that doesn’t work we can all pile into the bucket on the front of the tractor and head to the sugar bush.  It is a bumpy ride and we can’t jump off like we use to do on the sleigh but it will get us to the bush. When we get there remember we brought the crew to carry the pails, taps, line and tools.  They aren’t as heavy as they were years ago when the pails spills were all metal.  Years ago we didn’t need any lines to run from one tree to another but this is a good idea because with enough line we could just run all the trees together and join them up to one lead pail to empty.  However, it is going to be a lot more exercise if we use all the pails we have after all they come with lids to keep the tree bark, and snow out. 

We enjoyed our day and went to bed tired. After all we haven’t done that much walking in a bush in a long time and walking on snow without snow shoes can be a little tricky. Not for Ana who will be 4 soon but she was a little trooper taking taps and lines to Dewar each time he drilled a new tree. 

 

 

The tractor ride back in the bucket was colder as the day went on and the sun started to settle.

 

Amazing how a lot of fresh air and hard walking in the snow can work up an appetite,

Now, the wait till there is enough run off to start the boil process. Can’t wait till there is enough for a pancake supper. 

 Enjoy your day, Cindy

 


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