We have been trying to take advantage of these spring like days to get as many sap lines run as possible. Trips to town start early in the day and consist of a running list 0f supplies to be purchased at Lowes and Tractor Supply, then back to the farm. Sonny has been running the 12.5 gauge high tensile strength wire used to hold up the main sap line for a week now. We later go back and tie the 3/4″ main sap line to the support wire. Once that has been completed we will finally connect up the 5/16″ lateral sap lines or blue lines as we call them. Hopefully we will be finished before freezing weather and the first big snowfall. All that will be left to do is tap the trees when maple syrup season starts in February or March.
We use a spinning jenny wheel to guide the wire as we pull it up and down the hillsides. Otherwise the roll may become tangled and Sonny or I might roll down the hill with a wire slinky tumbling after.
Every few months through out the summer we have purchased additional 35 gallon sap tanks (pigs) that will be placed at the end of each main line to collect the sap each day. Then we will pump the sap into another tank in the back of the RTV and transport it to the sugar shack. This will be much easier than the bucket method we used last year.
We anticipate that it will take a couple of more years to finish connecting lines to the rest of the Maple trees on our property, but for now we have enough trees to keep you all in syrup.
Well lunch break is over and I need to don boots and work gloves. The Master syrup maker is calling.
You both are awesome people and such wonderful examples that ll is possible.
I’m not sure how awesome we are, but thank you for the kind comment. I know that you also are hard at work on your own homestead.
look at those man muscles
Hi! I didn’t see a general “contact me” area so I’ll ask it here; when do you plan to begin tapping? I live in the Hurricane/Culloden area. According to a local who tapped last year in February, they didn’t receive a drop because of the warm winter, and they think they tapped too late. This year is even warmer so I have no clue when to begin tapping…January? That seems way to early. How far away are you from Hurricane? Thanks in advance for any advice.
Holly, last year was a shorter than normal season but we still got sap for about 3 weeks. I would find a couple of test trees with easy access first. When it gets around the 3 week of January and we start getting temps when it is in the mid 20’s at night and 40 or so in the daytimes then start doing a test hole in the afternoon to see if the run has started. If it does go for it.
Remember that the physical location of the tree does have an impact on the test. Try to get a tree that gets south sun on it. A tree that sits in the shade most of the day will have a bit less drip.
We are around 3 hrs north of you in Center Point but the same principal will apply.
As an old Navy BT and ex merchant mariner, I’m interested in just about anything “off the grid”..you and Linda have a true piece of heaven there. I’m curious, in the picture of the ”main sap line attached to wire” the line runs through a small stream. Is there enough flow on the stream to possibly dam and tap it for a small dc water turbine?
That is one of my future projects. The stream typically only flows when it rains or the ground is saturated and holding snow. When I get more serious, I will decide if the cost is worth it. It flows for 5-7 days after a good few days of rain.