Today was a record sap collecting day! I think it must be in honor of my birthday. :-) We collected 271 gallons of sap! 48 of those gallons came from the seven trees we have tapped at our house. Last night I went to a concert in Columbus and when I got home at 12:30 am four of my trees were overflowing their five gallon jugs. I changed them then and by 4:00 pm today when we changed the jugs they were almost full again! We had so much sap that we had to fire up the fourth stove so we can get it all cooked down. It is in the shed next to the sugar shack and is the original stove Harold and Dale used to start their operation until they outgrew it. With all four stoves going Dale figured we could cook down about 140 gallons of sap in twenty-four hours. As you can see we have a lot of cooking ahead of us! (And, of course, we still have to keep collecting sap each day.)
Today was a beautiful day. The rain held off until after dark and my dad and sister came down to check out the sap operation and lend a hand. It was so nice to spend the day outside with them. Sarah took some pictures for me on her phone because I forgot my camera.
Overflowing five gallon jug of sap.
Carrying sap jugs.
Dumping sap out of the jugs into the big tank on the buggy. Harold is in the maroon sweatshirt and dad is in the white tee shirt.
Re-attaching the jug to the tree.
Harold has that chain saw out again! (BTW--I was wrong, he's 80, not 77!!)
Pumping sap out of the tank into the fourth stove pan.
Three stoves going in the sugar shack.
Full pan of sap just put on to boil. This pan holds about 33 gallons.
Our "finishing pan." After we cook the sap down in the big pans we condense them into this shallow pan and finish boiling it into syrup.
The "crew"--Dale, Steve, and Harold. Watching the pans boil is our favorite past time.
To finish off a lovely day, we had a birthday dinner at Grandma's. Have I mentioned yet that I have a wonderful family?!
Yes, of course, that's a spice cake with caramel icing!! Mom made mine heart shaped. And, yes, that's a LOT of candles!
Blowing out the candles with a little help from my goddaughter!
Eating our cake. We couldn't get Cecilia to smile but she did love it!
Birthday gifts from Grandma Jean--hand knit wool socks and crocheted pot holders. I love that lady!!!
Dad, Sarah, Me, and Mom