Maple Syrup - all you need is a maple tree, bucket, fire, and lots of patience
It's our favorite time of the year- maple syrup season!
I have found that since I started tapping my maple trees, I don't dread winter quite as much. The process of tapping trees is simply amazing. You drill a hole, insert a small tap, hang a bucket, and wake up to gallons of beautiful sap. That's the easy part. The ratio is approximately 33 gallons of sap make one gallon of syrup. So the process of boiling syrup is long, sticky and steamy. Something you definately don't want to do inside.
There are serval good sites to get started - one of my favorite is www.tapmytrees.com - They sell books, equipment and have lots of good information right on their website.
The taste of pure maple syrup is completely different than the store bought imitations that are loaded with corn syrup and coloring. It's a great project for the family, particularly because it allows children to see what nature can give for free and the beauty of working for something that lasts throughout the year.
Sap runs when the nights are freezing and the days are above (it is that difference in temperature that causes it to run)
Here in the Northeast February/March are good tapping months.
So when you are ready for Spring but it's not quite here yet, get on your winter clothes and boil yourself some homemade syrup!