Monday, March 26, 2012

Hauling Maple Sap



I love this picture from 1940 Vermont. It shows a farmer bringing in Maple Sap on a horse drawn sled. I wonder if they still use horses to pull in the vats of maple sap they collect, or if they use four wheeler's or other mechanized means.  

7 comments:

  1. I like that photo, too. It reminds me of the snowy , cold days in the mountains of Pennsylvania.

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  2. Actually, they don't haul it from tree to tree. They run flexible tubing from many trees to central pots.

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  3. They use 4-wheelers, snow machines, snow shoes, and probably someone still uses horse drawn sleds as well.

    Some folks use pickups and tap trees along the roads, so until time comes to collect the large vats, it is not much of a problem. A skid-steer with a front-end loader does the heavy lifting.

    Have you ever eaten a hot dog boiled in hot sap? I haven't. Must be sweet - wouldn't you think?

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  4. In Maine, I saw PVC lines run through the woods directly down to a collection point in a shed. No horses or oxen collecting but Maine still has active horse and ox pulls which are a blast to watch. I highly recommend a visit to the Fryeberg Fair.

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  5. If in VT. check out the maple syrup museum off route 7 in the Green Mountains. It's touristy but the kids love it. You can taste test the different varities of maple syrup from a shot glass.. Light, medium, dark, amber. The place is basically a gift shop that they added a few exhibits to and call it a museum. 75 cents admission for kids. Anything you want made out of Maple Sugar is there.

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  6. As others said, a lot of sap is gathered through tubes, and buckets are usually collected on snowmobile. But I am happy to report that a lot of sugar-makers still use wood fires, not gas, to boil off the sap. Sap boiling is still a big social activity, with friends coming over to feed and tend the fire as well as supervise the syrup.

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  7. Nice photo, and I also enjoyed reading folks' comments. I like maple syrup but don't know much about how it's made, though years ago I know my grandfather made it in Missouri.

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