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|
|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!
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!