Saturday, April 2, 2011

Buttonwood Maple Trees are Yielding Maple Syrup

On our 5+ acres at The Buttonwood Inn, we have sugar maple trees that Bill tapped for the past two weeks. After noticing that many of our neighbors collected sap from their sugar maples during March and April, we also wanted to make it ourselves.

There are several ways to collect the sap.  Some folks hook up the traditional metal  buckets attached to the spiles inserted into the tree trunk draining the sap.  Others connect plastic lines to the spiles running from tree to tree accumulating sap in a 50-gallon container.  Bill followed a neighbor's technique of hooking up plastic gallon milk cartons to homemade spiles draining our maple sap.

Depending on how much sap is collected at one time, it can be boiled on the kitchen stove, or some neighbors boil large amounts outside on woodburning stoves.  Since we tapped five of our sugar maples, we've been boiling it on our kitchen stove.

When the cartons are half full, Bill collects the sap and boils it down in a 3-gallon pot on our stove.  It takes about one to two days to boil the sap down into maple syrup.  We've boiled 15 gallons of maple sap, so far, to yield about 1.5 quarts of maple syrup.  Bill and I will use our homemade maple syrup for our own personal consumption. 

We will continue serving maple syrup to our guests from the 4th Place Winner in Yankee Magazine's contest of top maple producers in New England--Fullers Sugarhouse.

If you would like to learn more about maple sugaring techniques, you can explore these links:  and

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