We have successfully completed two maple sap runs this year! We have 24 taps that are collecting sap in metal buckets and we're boiling it over an open fire. There are only 2 sugar maples and the rest are silver or red maples. From what I read, silver and red maples produce a lower quantity of sap, less sugar to sap ratio, and make a cloudy syrup. According to some, it's not worth tapping silver and red maples. Well, we decided to go ahead and tap the trees anyway and find out for ourselves.
Transporting the syrup around the property can be a challenge with mountainous terrain and trees not located near trails. With our small operation of only 24 trees located in 3 main areas, we decided to haul the sap in a hiking backpack! The pack can hold one of those 4 gallon water coolers real easily. In one of the pictures you can see Jon and Paul pouring the sap into a funnel that pours into one of the water coolers inside the hiking pack. It's a pretty easy system enabling us to have our hands free in case we fall or need to push tree branches out of the way. This is a much better system than carrying buckets! We don't mind the extra work because this is how we get exercise...no need for a gym membership when we have mountains to climb and sap to haul! Instead of an ATV, we use a wheel barrow, and instead of a chainsaw, we use a handsaw. Jon and I try to maintain a simple lifestyle and this is one way we accomplish that.
All of the maple syrup supplies were purchased used except for the wool filter. The total cost of supplies, including shipping was: $286.94