Yesterday, in the rain, I pulled all of the taps and collected the buckets from the trees. The weather got warm too fast to have much of a season and it doesn't show signs of being prime for sap anytime soon. Below is a shot of the sap boiling down on our wood stove.
For a couple of days the trees were really pumping out sap so I had to build a little 'sugar shack' to keep up with the boil. Our wood stove at the house can only handle so much! Here is the quick, improvised shack in all glory. It worked like a charm.
I constructed the 'building' of hay bales from the garden mulch pile, covered it with some old aluminum roofing that was headed to the dump after being blown off the barn roof and covered the front with a tarp to keep the wind and rain out. Straw and hay bales have been used for hundreds of years to build dwellings throughout the world. It's an amazing building material and could go a long way in solving many of the problems faced at the intersection of global warming and deforestation. This was my opportunity to utilize the technology crudely and ensure that it poses little to no fire danger (as is stated in nearly every book on straw bale building that I've read). No fires to report even during that very dry 'dangerous' spell we had and Em, Lizzie and I will be enjoying homemade maple syrup for some time to come!