Sunday, 10 March 2013

Maple Trees and New Socks

One of the curious things about Eastern Ontario is the speed with which seasons change. Last week the temperatures were well below freezing but today it is 10 C (50 F). I was outside in just a fleece jacket and I was comfortable.

And what was I doing while I was outside? I was tapping my maple trees!  Lanark County is considered the maple syrup capital of Ontario and the supplies for this are readily available in every hardware store around. The process is really quite simple:
1. Drill a hole in a Maple Tree.


2. Clean the hole.  The dark line below the hole is the sap running out.


3. Bang in a spigot and hang the bucket.  You can see the clear sap running into the bucket already.


On a 4.5 acre [1.8 ha] property, I only have three maples...something of an oddity in these parts.  So now we wait.  We'll have to collect the sap daily, filter out any debris that lands in the buckets and then start boiling it down so it will thicken.  I've never made my own syrup so I'm quite excited to see how it turns out.

I also saw daffodils poking their heads up on the south wall.


And the lilac tree has heavy buds


Spring is clearly well on it's way.  Good thing I finished Chucks socks while it's still cool enough to wear them.



8 comments:

  1. That's awesome! I was actually thinking that this weekend, that this warm weather is the perfect time to start tapping trees. Then I thought it's a shame that I don't have a couple maples on our property. Making my own syrup is kind of a dream of mine. Good luck, I hope you get a good yield!

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    1. Thanks! Because of the drought we had last summer, people who know about things like this are saying that the yields are going to be much lower. Still, it's fun to see how the process works.

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  2. I love the socks - what a great color!

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    1. Thank you! I think that's why I lost them to my husband. Originally they were going to be for me, but he kept picking them up and looking at them. Then he make a comment about the colour and I knew then that he really wanted them. The tag didn't have a colour reference but I think the colour is 'Nebula' by Fleece Artist.

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  3. Great socks! And I am very jealous of your maple trees. You have three more than we do. :-)

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    1. Thanks for the compliment. The socks are a modification of a Paton's leaflet my mother picked up several years ago.
      As for the trees, yes - I'm fond of them as well. My house sits in what had once been land cleared for farming so there are very few large trees around. Mostly I have oak trees along the old fence lines.

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  4. Love the sock colour. I have boring blue men's sock on my needles. They are turning out way to big around so I have to rip out a lot. Ugh. Men's socks! Many colourful yarns are calling from my stash.
    I noticed a lot of tulips poking out of my garden this morning. Ah! That sping feeling that tulip shoots bring. :-)
    - Pam

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    1. Thanks Pam. The yarn is by Fleece Artist and I think the colour is 'Nebula' - there was no colour code on the tag when I bought it. So far, there is no sign of my tulips yet but then again it just snowed again last night and the temperature dropped so I don't expect to see them for a while. Happy Spring!

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