It took only a few hours and a sunny morning to get about 100 taps in. We dug out the buckets, lids, tools, and spouts, loaded up the trucks, and headed across town to the sugar bush.
The owners of the land that we use have been hard at work clearing out the brush, thinning the trees, and making the sugar bush more productive. You can see in the above photo some of the smaller trees that they had cut down to allow the larger trees room to grow.
The darker hole in the photo below is the hole from last year. To the right you can see the a new hole with fresh sap already dripping out. We generally put two taps per tree. This works out well as the two taps will generally fill a five-gallon bucket each day during the sugarin' season.
The first step once we make it to the woods is to lay out the buckets at each tree we plan to tap. We put out about 50+ buckets today. We still have at least 50-60 more spouts to set back at our farm. Hopefully we'll get to this in the next day or two.
A few slight knocks with a hammer and the spout is set!
One a sunny day like this, the sap starts to flow before the drill bit is removed from the hole. It starts with a steady stream, but then slows to a pulsing drip. Those drops sure do add up, though!
Once again, everyone lends a hand. First we loaded up the trucks. Then we unloaded them in the woods and set out the buckets, covers, and spouts. Finally, we drilled and set the spouts into the trees.
It takes some focus and concentration to score a direct hit with the hammer!
The old-fashioned hand drill (brace) works better than an electric drill, in our opinion. Less noise and more elbow grease makes for some contemplative moments in the woods. (The more keen of our readers will notice something about the photograph below. Examine last year's photos...any takers?)
Teamwork all around makes quick work of the trees in the sugar bush.
The buckets are set, the trees are tapped, the sap is flowing...Maple lovers prepare to have your taste buds tantalized!