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!