dirt, which may or may not contain seeds

Weekly letter – make your own maple sap and chicken orders

Hello friends! We have had a pretty great week for sugaring! The weather has been generally more favorable to get the sap running and we’ve had some really good days, including one 24 hour period where we got almost 2 gallons of sap per tap! 

Continue reading “Weekly letter – make your own maple sap and chicken orders”

how to reduce smoky flavor when boiling sap over an open fire to make maple syrup

6 simple tips to avoid smoky flavor in maple syrup boiled over an open fire

Smoky flavor can sneak into maple syrup boiled over an open fire because the smoke and debris from the fire pass over the sap as it boils.  Even if you enjoy this smokiness, it is actually considered a flaw in syrup and could even be somewhat bad for your health, depending on what you burn with.  There is no smoke flavor in syrup made in a standard evaporator setup because the fire is isolated from the sap and smoke flows out a chimney. But hey, we don’t have a sugarhouse and certainly no chimney for our evaporator setup and yet our syrup is smoke-free!
Continue reading “6 simple tips to avoid smoky flavor in maple syrup boiled over an open fire”

maple tree tapped for sap to make maple syrup

Identifying Maple Trees by Their Bark and Branches in Winter [updated]

We like to plan out the maple tapping around Valentine’s Day.  For anyone new to sugaring on their land, the first step is knowing which trees are good maples for tapping.  If you did not identify them in the Summer when the iconic maple leaves were easy to spot, don’t fret.  It is absolutely possible to ID the maples on your land in winter so you can make your own syrup.

Continue reading “Identifying Maple Trees by Their Bark and Branches in Winter [updated]”

DIY Maple Syrup Tapping System for under $1 [new infographic updated for 2016]

It’s just about time, folks.  If you live in the northern US/southern Canada and have maple trees on your land and you don’t tap your trees for their magical sap, you are missing out!  Maybe you think the setup is too difficult, or maybe too pricey?  We used to think so too, but turns out it is neither!  Check out our infographic below to see our super simple system that brings us a year’s supply of delicious maple syrup for under $1 per tree.

Continue reading “DIY Maple Syrup Tapping System for under $1 [new infographic updated for 2016]”

Squash Buttermilk Pancakes [recipe]

We have a weekly pancake ritual on sunday mornings.  One of us melts the butter and starts brewing coffee and then one of us will start the pancake steps.  Weigh and measure all the ingredients, while the other parent entertains the kiddos with walking the dog or letting the chickens out.  The pancake maker will weigh out all the dry ingredients and sometimes a little 3-year-old will come help measure (read: take the leveled measuring spoon from my hand and dump it and tap it on the side and into the bowl of flour) and then we mix it all together!  

Continue reading “Squash Buttermilk Pancakes 

100% Local Meal – Pan-seared London Broil With Sautéed Swiss Chard and Spring Onions and Maple Glazed Spring Carrots

It has been so inspiring to walk around the farmers’ market on Saturday mornings.  I like seeing all the beauty around us, but, it is even more fun to play with the vegetables, meat, and dairy and create meals for our family.  The best part about these meals is that I can picture the fields, I know the farmers’ faces and strong hands. The added bonus that with local amazing food like this, I can feed my family AND support my local economy! This local support not only bolsters community and keeps the market going, but ceases the need to support food shipped from thousands of miles away on trucks.  Continue reading “100% Local Meal – Pan-seared London Broil With Sautéed Swiss Chard and Spring Onions and Maple Glazed Spring Carrots”

How To Make Granulated Maple Sugar at Home

How to Make Granulated Maple Sugar [infographic]

Granulated maple sugar is made by removing all moisture from maple sap / maple syrup, leaving behind wonderful sugar crystals with maple flavor that can be used in an impressive number of ways, from substituting for standard sugar in a recipe to unique applications such as sprinkling onto blueberries and other fruits.  And guess what, it’s easy enough to make in your kitchen today. Continue reading “How to Make Granulated Maple Sugar [infographic]”

Bread baked with maple sap

3 Ways to Use Maple Sap Other Than Boiling Into Maple Syrup

We were ambitious this year and tapped double the maple trees we tapped last year.  Now we find ourselves with a year’s supply of syrup already and limited energy remaining to keep up the effort of evaporating the many remaining gallons of sap.  To prevent the sap from just going to waste, we’ve come up with and tried out several ideas to use sap and make the most of our flowing bounty.  Continue reading “3 Ways to Use Maple Sap Other Than Boiling Into Maple Syrup”

How to Make Sugar on Snow (aka Maple Taffy) [infographic]

It’s safe to say that we’ve got maple syrup on our minds! Between checking our taps daily and our daughter’s love of maple sugaring themed books, we have it covered.  And we’ve been eager to try Sugar on Snow, aka Maple Taffy, aka easy, fun, and delicious treat! Continue reading “How to Make Sugar on Snow (aka Maple Taffy) [infographic]”

Our Inexpensive and Easy DIY Maple Syrup Evaporator

The sap collection has been slow here with winter holding on tight with below freezing temperatures and deep snow covering our land.  So far we’ve only pulled about a half gallon of sap per tap.  But hey, at least we collected enough to warrant a boil!  We build our own evaporator instead of shelling out big bucks for the fancy ones, read on to see how we did it.

Continue reading “Our Inexpensive and Easy DIY Maple Syrup Evaporator”