Maple 2016

Jake n the boys

February 23, 2016

Finally, the maple season is upon us. After much scrambling with the new sugarhouse addition, the new head tank and getting used to our new sap hauling sled, we got underway. The trees ran good over the weekend and are dripping very nice as I write. This is one of my most favorite times of the year. I am busy as heck but finding time to immerse my self in all that is maple!

Our first day of gathering, I was able to get my son Jake to help. He is driving the horses to the sled in the photo above. Things went well and we collected about 1000 gallons of maple sap. We are also boiling some sap for a friend. He had a good run as well.

2016 first steam

The first steam rolls out of the roof as we get the sap boiling. The new head tank performed flawlessly. The dry chunk wood, split and stacked last April made a good hot fire. The room was soon filled by the sweet aroma of spring here at Riceland Meadows.


Our 4 by 14 evaporator was working hard thanks to the amount of sap and the dry wood. I choose to do things the old-fashioned way, in the manner of my parents and grandparents. I know there are many short cuts available to me in the maple syrup making process, but I prefer to gather sap from tree to tree with a team of horses. I choose to boil the 40:1 ratio in open pans over a hot wood fire without the benefit of reverse osmosis. I am an old soul and very proud of that fact.

first run 2016

To me……. It’s worth it!

10 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Looking good! Wish I was there to help…..just opened a new jug of syrup with the grand girls this weekend….many happy smiles all the way out here!

Comment by Donna aka gert

I wish you could all come too…especially for the clean up! LOL

Comment by ricelandmeadows

Mmmmmmm. What a wonderful and happy thing!

Comment by Donkey Driver

Wish you and yours could come see, experience and taste!

Comment by ricelandmeadows


Comment by Donkey Driver

First signs of Spring! Hope it’s an abundant year for syrup!

Comment by Former fellow farmer

Thanks us too! As for your moniker, I say, “Once a farmer … Always a farmer. If only in your heart and memories.”

Comment by ricelandmeadows


Comment by Former fellow farmer

Beautiful! So great that you’re still using horses on the farm, I can’t think of anywhere that does anymore. Keep the tradition alive!


Comment by Kaito Ridge

Thank you. I love working my horses on the farm and in the sugarbush. Do a search on YouTube for Riceland Meadows, you’ll find us there too. Enjoy!

Comment by ricelandmeadows

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