A little sap and a lot of ingenuity

Sage bonds with his sap source.

Sage bonds with his sap source.

It’s maple syruping time, and the fact that our maple empire consists of one middle aged tree and two scrawny saplings has not daunted my husband. When a man’s gotta tap, a man’s gotta tap.

Our Amish neighbor Jacob is preparing to enter the maple syrup business and is currently tapping about 1000 trees. His old sap boiler, gigantic as it seems to me, is no longer sufficient. He generously offered it to Paul at a very reasonable price, but it was clear to all parties concerned that we did NOT need a large scale boiler for the sap from a single tree.

Although Paul had to pass on Jacob’s boiler, he was not at all discouraged. Give the man a rusty barrel, a length of old gutter, and a turkey roasting pan that’s seen better days and voila: a sap boiler!

Sage diligently monitored sap levels and, when both of my menfolk judged that they had a sufficient quantity, they embarked upon their first evening of boiling. Their hours by the fire yielded just a few ounces of boiled sap, making it an unproductive use of time by most modern standards.

I beg to differ, though, and these images explain why:

Sage checks the sap bucket.

Sage checks the sap bucket.

Sage and Paul inspect their sap.

Sage and Paul inspect their sap.

Sage, Paul, and the Frankenboiler

Sage, Paul, and the Frankenboiler

Paul contemplates his sap-boiling creation.

Paul contemplates his sap-boiling creation.

And besides, we can always buy extra syrup from Jacob.

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