It's time! The taps went in our maple trees yesterday, and we were all so excited to be out there doing such a thing - such a welcome marker of the season. We've mostly made it through the winter, this tells us! Spring will come, so says the running sap!
We've continued to adjust our numbers over the years we've been tapping - starting out ambitiously, scaling it back to just a few one very busy year, and landing this year somewhere in the middle. Twenty taps - which for us is just enough to experience it fully and enjoyably, have a few boil days, and give us a reason to get out there in the elements once or twice a day for emptying and collecting. But not so much that it's burdensome or a huge inconvenience in our family rhythm. We wouldn't be able to produce enough syrup of our own to last the whole year (it's frequently used in our house, apparently!), but we can produce quite a bit - many months worth anyway - and buy the rest from neighbors and friends who have a bigger scale production.
Though the sugar content is quite low at the point it's dripping out of the tree, without a doubt, first sip of spring sap is one of the very sweetest tastes of all. How lucky we are...and grateful for these wonderful maple trees!