All Tapped

This afternoon Alice joined me in the woods to finish tapping the maple trees. She carried the covers while I waddled around with the cordless drill and hatchet hooked on my belt, taps in my pocket, and buckets in my arms. We probably did 30-some more today, and we proved to be a very effective team. We’d better be if we resize the operation to 350 taps! Of course, that will be years from now, when we’re more crippled up than we are right now.

After we finished tapping, we noticed it was after 5:00 so Alice walked back home to get the kitchen stove fire going and start on supper. Franco and I stayed behind and gathered the sap from the trees we tapped yesterday. We got about 3 gallons, which was just enough to cover the bottom of the evaporator pan to about an inch thick. If tomorrow’s run is comparable to today’s, we should be able to get a couple of inches in the big pan, and enough in the preheating pan to start the evaporator. We also tapped two more trees I noticed we’d missed when we gathered. I could use one more bucket, because I found one more than that.

Mostly I stayed inside today, though, and reviewed for the test I have to take tomorrow. We’ve been working on this Firefighter II class for 6 weeks or so, and we’re all ready to have it be over with. The written portion of the test starts at 9:30 AM, and the practical should start as soon as we’re done with the written. We were told that there will be sloppy joes for lunch, but I’ll bring a sandwich in case they don’t count on vegetarian firefighters (a small subset of the population, I’ll bet.) I’ve already passed the HazMat part of the class, so all that is left is to take the tests tomorrow and hope for the best. It is ending at a good time, because I suspect I’m about to get busy with the maple syrup stuff.

One Response to “All Tapped”

  1. Ryan says:

    We (Mel and I) helped out at Mel’s uncle’s cousin’s sugar bush in Indiana a while back.

    He’s got taps that run into tubes that collect in barrels. He still has buckets in places too, but the barrels allow him to get quite a big chunk of trees.

    Her dad built a pretty neat heat exchanger system for boiling too. The incoming sap flows in above boiling tray heating it a large chunk of the way up with what would otherwise be waste heat. It’s sped up the process considerably, and saved quite a bit of fuel in the process.

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