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Sugaring Season

This post was originally published March 2013.

Just about the time even *I*, who loves winter, am getting kind of sick of bulky sweaters and snowsuits, my husband starts spending every single evening ramping up for this week – the week we start tapping. He buys more buckets every year – he’s up to 150 buckets this year. He put in the first spiles at the end of last week, and while it’s been slow to start (which is good because there was lots of preparation left to do), we’ve got full buckets ready to collect today.

The past few days have been busy tapping days – the last of the buckets went in this morning, with some help from our son. Some of the trees were dripping as soon as the spile went in.

Last year was a terrible syrup season, especially for low-volume producers who rely on the buckets rather than plastic tubing. This is year looks fantastic. Temperatures ideally need to stick within 5 degrees of freezing (celcius) for the sap to run well, and the next couple of weeks look ideal. We should get a bumper “crop” if things go well.

It’s an intense few weeks, but for a couple who grew up mostly in the suburbs, living out here is incredibly rewarding. My involvement in the process is mainly taking pictures, watching with amazement and pride, keeping suppers warm when he’s out there in the late evenings, and consuming the delicious end-product. Lucky me!

Click the pictures to see them full-size.

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