A family member saw the pic of the 5 little 4 oz. jars of finished syrup I posted this week. (I posted it on the FOB FB page too!) The comment was, “That’s a lot of work.” Sugarmakers get that a lot. We know it’s a lot of work and I know a few here and there who have thrown in the towel and given up, but not many. It’s a craft, a hobby, a skill, a quest…well, really it’s a sweet addiction. I left the employ of the park 6 years ago and passed the baton (or syrup spoon) on to Pete Laffin. I didn’t quit sugaring though. I tap a few trees at my house and my kids so I can pass the craft on to the next generation of Sugarmakers. We think it’s worth the work.
Here’s the basics of what you need to make maple syrup.
- Sugar Maple Trees – Red, silver and a few others work too
- Taps – Also known as spiles or spouts. 5/16 (preferred) or 7/16
- Drill & Bit – Manual or Cordless to match size of tap
- Buckets, food safe (No kitty litter containers!)
- Sturdy Pot
- Heat Source
- Thermometer (optional but does prevent burnt finger tips)
- Filter paper, coffee filters or clean white flannel or cotton (no detergent residue)
- Glass jars
Directions: Tap the tree, collect the sap, boil the sap, put it in jars. Ha-ha…overly simplified but feel free to go to ctmaple.org for complete instructions or visit the park on March 20 for CT Open House Day! More details to come about that soon.
In the meantime…enjoy the park! And Sugaring season. And remember…Spring is coming!