I was out on assignments again, and thought this would be a great bit of local
"industry" to show you.
One of the great products of northern states is maple syrup. In addition to tons of time, it requires maple trees and the right kind of weather.
When the days are warm and nights below freezing the sap begins to move up the trees. It can be "tapped," collected, and boiled down into syrup or even farther, into maple sugar.
The trees were traditionally tapped with a small piece of pipe on which a bucket was hung to collect the sap. In small commercial operations now, the buckets are replaced with plastic tubing that delivers the syrup to a central locations. You can see the blue and black tubing strung between the trees.
There are special ends on the tubing that can be pounded into the trees.
Whether you are going to boil down just a little bit or gallons and gallons of sap, you should not do it inside your house. The steam is full of sugar and will make a real mess.
Small commercial operations (how most syrup is made) have a special sugaring house where the boiling is done. Here's where this sap was going.
Of course, traditionally, the boiling was fueled by a wood fire. You can see that this place uses propane gas.
Does all this progress take the romance out of that small jug of syrup you buy for $10 or more? Maybe. But it will still taste great. Think what it would cost if all that work was still done by hand.
As for the weather, I would think this won't be a great year for syrup. It's been too warm in general for a good sap run.
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