Sugaring is no small project. You tap the trees when temps are freezing at night and above freezing during the day. Last week the Dogtor got out the power tools and even let me take a turn drilling into the tree. (The girls were watching. I tried to look cool and confident holding the drill, but I still get this "SOMEONE IS LETTING ME HOLD A POWER TOOL" feeling - like - who am I? I'm shocked, elated, and totally full of myself. My goal is to raise girls who use power tools without existential dilemmas.)
We have four taps which give us about 5 gallons of sap on a good day. It takes roughly 30-40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. We boil all day, testing the temp, sticking the spoon in the boiling sap. Usually I'm running from my writing to the stove, back and forth with sticky hands.
Also - I'm really good at the tasting part.
We've made all sorts of syrup grades, and all by accident. To borrow a phrase from my daughter's preschool teacher - we get what we get and we don't get upset.
I think this hobby is going to stick around. I love walking out into the dark yard at night, hearing the ping of the sap if it's still running. It's a fun thing to focus on in an otherwise bleary time - mud season. If Vermont is good at one thing, it's scrounging up a way to celebrate the seasons.