Friday, January 14, 2011

Maple Season?

It's hard to believe that now in the heart of cold, cold winter we are preparing for the spring.  I'm planning my gardens and we've started preparing for the spring maple season.

This will be the first year that we'll be boiling our own sap.  Cross your fingers that we have a good sap run this year and we don't burn our pans (more about this frightful event will come in later posts).

Now, we are getting our wood pile together.  Below is a start on our wood pile.  We'll be getting much, much more.  It takes a tremendous amount of wood to boil the sap down.  In the future we hope to get a reverse osmosis machine to lighten the load, but for now it's all evaporation.

We purchased this pile of wood from an Amish lumber yard.  We drive the truck up to Ulysses and the  lumber yard has each load of wood metal strapped together. What you see in this picture is two loads.  We're talking about hundreds of pounds of wood - so how do they get it into the truck?

This lumber yard has a huge hoist mechanism which is powered by gas motors.  Amish don't use electricity and a pushbutton switch to move a hoist takes electricity.   So they have this piece of wood that is about ten inches long and two inches wide with holes drilled through it.  There are strings that run from it, through the holes, to the hoist.  They pull the different strings to make the hoist mechanism go frontwards and backwards, side to side, and up and down.  It's an ingenious solution to a problem!

The saying is that wood heats you twice.  Once when you cut it and once when you burn it.  This wood will heat us three times - unloading it, cutting it into lengths to fit into the evaporator's fire box, and then when we burn it!

Maybe we can count the morning we pour delicious homemade maple syrup over our flapjacks a fourth time the wood heats us?

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