Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Will you come tap my tree?

Since buying our first home a little over a year ago, I've had this weird sense of pride in the flora and fauna on our property.  I really noticed this change in me last Spring when I was waiting to see what would spring up on our property.  When the lilac trees finally bloomed, we had dark and light purple lilacs, and they were OUR lilacs!  When the blue jays made a nest in the cedar outside our picture window, I felt like they were OUR blue jays and when they flew off without me seeing it, I was heartbroken.  These were all feelings I had never experienced prior to home ownership.  

Now that Spring is in the air, I wanted to take advantage of our big old maple tree. I had asked around to see if anyone wanted to come tap our tree and mostly people thought I was a little crazy.  Generally people said, "No, not one tree."  Alas, Monday morning I had gone to the bank to drop off a deposit and the teller mentioned that her husband was sugaring that morning. Of course I got all excited and said, "Will he come tap our tree?"  Pat, "  Not for one maple.  But, I could give you the items to tap it yourself."  I was thrilled!

So, off we went on a field trip to the Coolidge Homestead in Jay to their Alpaca farm and Sugaring House to watch the process.  

You can see that the Coolidge's have a beautiful piece of property and I felt so lucky that Pat invited me over.  Pat brought us into the sugaring house where her husband was boiling the sap down.  Oh, the wonderful smell inside, an airy sugary smell my writing skills can't even come close to describe!  

When it had reached the correct thickness, he gave us each a little cup of syrup.  As soon as I had my first sip all the taste buds in my mouth exploded.  A little sip of heaven in the Glen! 

When I was done asking a million questions, they provided us with the spouts, buckets, and a drill to collect the sap from our lone tree.

We had determined that our tree was large enough for three buckets.  Here is Drew drilling the first hole.  Immediately, sap started flowing out of the small hole since it had been a cold night and we were having a beautiful 50 degree day!

After tapping the tree and placing the spout, I hung the bucket.  Very exciting!  

I realize that it's going to take a lot more than our three little buckets of sap to produce anything substantial, but we'll keep collecting and hope for a least another little cup full of OUR very own maple syrup.

I leave with all of you a picture of our beautiful maple with it's three buckets hanging in all their glory.


Matt said...

Now for some flame-bait... Gimme some good ole' Aunt Jemima any day.

Jennifer said...

Oh, I loved this one. I used to drink a lot of sap when I was a kid ... sometimes slurping it right off the spout.

JuneBug said...

they probably told you at Pat's but don't boil it down in your house... All that sugary steam results in some seriously sticky walls! Good luck! Some friends in Ithaca got 6 gallons off their tree(s?).

Derek said...

Very true.....boil it outside for sure.

My mom used to poor warm syrup on fresh snow and we would goble it was so good.

Love reading your blog after discovering it a few weeks ago. I read all your back posts and look forward to the next.

Good luck with your syrup.

Anonymous said...

i, too, tried and failed to describe with words the sugary sweet, steamy air of a sugarhouse ...

Anonymous said...

p.s. i like aunt jemima too!