Well, the sap run is over! We had a great year for making syrup. The weather cooperated and the trees produced lots of sap. Altogether we were boiling sap for about a month, so personally I was ready to be done. Many days I was running the stove 24 hours a day, getting up every 2 hours at night to put more wood in the stove. So with mixed emotions (mostly joy and happiness), last Monday we pulled out all of the taps (nearly 100) and stacked up the buckets.
A few days later we had a long afternoon of scrubbing and putting away the equipment, today we are polishing the evaporation pan and getting the stove put away, so we can officially declare the end of the season.
Again, it was a very good year, all total we boiled down 713 gallons of sap (that's a LOT of five gallon pails to carry) and canned 18 gallons of syrup. We have some friends that contributed about 1/3 of the sap from their trees, so they got about six gallons of syrup, leaving us a very satisfactory twelve gallons. We typically use about a gallon a month, as we like having pancakes or waffles for breakfast on a regular basis.
Below are some pictures of what was going on around here during the sap run. I was hoping to post some of these during the run, but we were busy not only with the sap run, but with chicks, kids (goat), and lambs. Everyone in the family worked together on various aspects of this. Collection of sap, usually daily - up to 50 gallons a day. Splitting firewood (some by hand, some with a borrowed splitter). Both Jonny and Ben love to split firewood. They have their own axes this year -- we bought them at an auction last year and as a shop project they refinished the handles and sharpened the heads.
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