One of the most iconic New England traditions is tapping maple trees, collecting maple sap, and boiling it down to make pure maple syrup. Every year in late winter / early spring people all over the Northeastern U.S. and southern Canada partake in this tradition, also known as maple sugaring.
In a nod to this tradition, I actually built my own sugaring shack on my grandmothers land in Oxford two years ago, but I have been collecting maple sap and making maple syrup since I was a little kid with my father and grandfather.
This spring I tapped 30 sugar maple trees and over the last few weeks I have collected roughly 150 gallons of sap. I now have a wood-fired evaporator to boil all of the sap down into syrup, but it takes 40 gallons of sap to boil down into one gallon of syrup so it’s a lot of boiling. Typically it will take 10+ hours to produce two gallons of syrup.
That being said, there is honestly nothing better than spending the whole day chopping wood and stoking the evaporator and making liquid gold from tree sap. And once you try out the finished product of 100% real maple syrup on pancakes or ice cream, you will never go back to the cheap knockoff syrup ever again!