Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tapping Maple Tree

Welcome  to Maple Syrup Week here at OPOD. We will be looking at pictures from a bygone era of families making their own Maple Syrup. This picture is from 1940, and shows a man in Vermont drilling a hole in a maple tree to collect the sap. This particular guy has 1,000 trees on his farm, and produces about 150 gallons of syrup a year. Just doing rough calculations you probably could not support a family doing that, so he likely had other farming or agriculture endeavors, and perhaps did the syrup as a side business.


  1. Do realize that is only .15 of a gal per tree. That would take over 7 trees to produce one gallon, or a little over 1 pint per tree.
    That must be the finished product amount after they boiled it down .

    It took a lot to make me comment with the new word ID.
    This is my second try.

  2. It takes a lot of work and sap to make maple syrup. That's why the real stuff is so expensive. But it is so tasty!

    Welcome back DADD.

  3. I worked my way through college by spending the spring of the year working in a sugar bush. The quantity given is the amount of finished product since it takes about 8 to 10 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup, even so I suspect he made a more syrup from a 1,000 tree source. And yes, sugaring was always a side income for the farmer or logger.

  4. Pretty Cool! The Amish here in Ohio are big producers of maple syrup and maple sugar candies. Yum is right!

  5. Not exactly 'bygone' era. I have family members who make syrup each year. The method of collection is a lot more complex now, with plastic tubing stretched to several trees and feeding one container.

    I have about 1/4 of a bottle remaining in the 'fridge -- stretching it out to the very end.

    A cousin also has honeybees and so honey is always at hand.

    He sells most of his honey to the local Amish, who then retail it.

    As kids our grandpa would give us chunks of honeycomb to chew on - 'chewin' wax', he called it.

  6. How wonderful! That was one of my favorite parts of Little House in the Big Woods.

  7. My brother-in-law still operates a sugar shack in upstate NY. He is already done for the year. Not a good year for maple syrup.

    When he has the fire going, his grandkids would come out and "cook" hot dogs and eggs (boiled in the shell) in the hot sap - which is making its way through the boiler to the syrup stage.

    And yes, it is just a sideline to his dairy farm operation.


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