Tuesday, February 28, 2012

We Fire Up The Maple Sap Evaporator

Yesterday was a banner day on Fitzgerald's Family Farm.  We worked on lines in the morning and in the afternoon we filled our evaporator with water and fired it up for the first time.

We started the day by going back to the area I had tapped and fixed all the damage I had marked.  Squirrels and chipmunks love to chew on maple sap lines!  They are a maple sap tappers nemesis.

Marked damaged line

Squirrel damage

Repairing the line

Fitz was very happy with this nice neat junction of sap lines.

We didn't see any bears or deer, but we found evidence that they'd been around!

Deer pooh

Bear pooh

Later that afternoon, we filled the evaporator with water, loaded and started the firebox, and heated the water up to boiling to clear up the impurities and oils that might be in the evaporator (it's brand new), and checked for leaks - none, thank goodness.  We drained off the dirty water after the fire went out.  This is the culmination of months and months of preparation.

Everything worked great!

Now, cross your fingers in hopes that today we'll get some sap to boil!


  1. Looks good! Do you have to boil the sap prior to using it?

  2. I am so excited and can't wait for the next step. Great work, you two!!!

  3. Oh how exciting!!! How neat for you, and of course a nature study amongst a food gathering study! I love learning all the while, and I thank you for sharing your progress!!


  4. Are you giving away your first jar? Just a thought! lol

  5. Maple sap tappers...say that three times real fast! :)
    Looking forward to seeing that first batch of lovely maple syrup!

  6. Dani - Yes, it takes about 40 gallons of maple sap boiled down to make 1 gallon of maple syrup.
    One-Eleven abroad - Thank you!
    Humble Wife - I'll keep you updated
    jane - This one is 2-1/2 feet by 8 feet. There are smaller and much larger ones too!
    Clint- Figuring all we've put into it, the first jar should be worth about $10,000. We talked about doing something special with it.
    Candy - I can't wait too. We got sap today, but ran into some glitches. Hopefully we'll turn it into syrup tomorrow morning!