1. Sugar House, 2. Untitled, 3. Grading Samples, 4. liquid gold
There is snow on the ground but the temps have risen and the sap has started to flow. This is what I love about living in a place with four distinct seasons. Every month seems to bring about a new event to look forward to. Right now new englanders and maple tree owners all over are tapping trees to collect sap to boil down into maple syrup.
1. Tintinhull Family Farm The Sugar Shack, 2. Maple Sugaring Shack, 3. Sugar Shack at Night, 4. Tapped Maples, 5. Sugar Maples tapped to collect sap, 6. Boiling kettles
I argue it is impossible to live here and not become a maple syrup snob — I wonder why Aunt Jemima even tries, she should just pack up and leave. The homegrown, straight from nature pancake sauce is incomparably better.
I have never given the sugaring process a try, though I know as my kids get older, it will be a right of passage in this New England town — somewhere around the third grade every student will have a maple sugar project and I know of no parent who hasn’t pitched in, tapped a tree, and boiled for hours. I am looking forward to this inevitability and making note of which trees are maples in our woods. In the mean time, I share with you this little roundup of sugaring tools that are beautiful now and year round in the garden.
Sugar Bowl in the landscape. Kim’s mason jar maple syrup. Vintage Syrup buckets. 40 gallon iron Kettle. Antique Maple tap collection. Shaker sap bucket. Not shown, but you can get a great starter kit for tree tapping here.