Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to make homemade maple syrup. There were probably various influences, but one that sticks out in my mind is the sugaring Little House in the Big Woods. Long story short, my parents never let me tap the maple tree in our yard, and I have had to live with this suppressed desire my whole life so far.
I have collected about two gallons of sap so far. I ended up having to remove the spiles because they weren’t tight enough in the holes, and were letting sap run down the side of the tree. Inserting just the tubing has been working well however. It’s fairly stiff tubing and I am able to insert about 1 1/2 to 2 inches of it into my holes.
Also, I got a mention in the Fridley Patch! Many thanks to Dave McCoy for coming over to interview me, and for the nice article.
Last week when fellow Minnesotan blogger Julie over at the Urban Homestaed said it was sugaring time I knew I had to give it a shot this year. Friday night I took my two year old to Home Depot and let him pick a bucket and lid. I picked the ice-machine tubing.
I made some spiles (the peg/spout that goes into the tree) from some pen barrels on recommendation of another blog I found via. Google and put tapped our Maple tree last night!
I think that I probably could’ve just put the tubing directly into the tree. Unlike some of the clear tubing I have seen pictures of, this tubing is the hard slightly opaque stuff, not the softer squishy clear stuff. I think it’s probably stiff enough to not need a spile.
We’ll see how it goes! I’m optimistic enough that I might ask our neighbor if I can tap his two trees too. One of his trees is probably a whole foot wider than this one, and could handle three taps.