Syrupin' and Seed Startin'


| 3/3/2017 12:55:00 PM


Tags: maple syrup, seed starting, DIY seed starting rack, tapping trees, maple sap, Wisconsin, Andy and Becky Sell,

Transitional TraditionsIt was February 17th, almost the exact middle of winter, and we got an urgent text message: "Saps running! You tapping this year?"

What?! It was a full month earlier than last year. How could the sap be running? I looked out my kitchen window. Yes, the snow was melting with the unusual warm snap we were having ... but I didn't think that would wake the trees up by itself. Didn't the sun have to be at a certain angle? Wasn't there something to the length of the days?

No matter. In two days we'd hastily drilled holes in our neighborhood maples and pounded in the taps. In fact, our coats and faces got splashed with the heavily flowing sap. It was, indeed, running!

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Andy and I, with the help of our friend Erik, went from property to property adding taps and blue sap bags to the tree trunks. In a couple hours, we had them covered. Here’s the interesting part: some of the maples we had drilled into last year were bone dry; not running at all yet. Others had clearly been pulling water for several days already. It was an odd experience; one we had not encountered yet in our fourth year of syruping.

That weekend we had scheduled to be out of town, so we relied upon our friends to collect sap. The day we hammered taps, it was 50 degrees F outside. When we came home from our trip, it was closer to 65! We broke records all over the place. Unfortunately, the sap was no longer running.




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