This year, with the unseasonal warm temperatures, maple syrup making time is cut short. I am not complaining at all, and grateful to see brown/green ground and feel the warmer air around me. Even some of the 600 plus bulbs I planted last fall are coming up, at least the ones the moles haven't eaten. However I am quick to remind myself that flowers bloom at different times and kept the rule in my mind while planting to ensure a beautiful spring.
I had spent a few days over the last couple weeks with Tom Sr. while he was syrup making. He seems to be less stressful when he's not around certain people or has had some rest. Either way, I was so happy to spend some time with an elder learning the self sufficient skills by passing it down. I felt like I was spending time with my own Grandpa learning the skills. It brought me to a different place.
A place that I created in my mind, a place where I am learning the life skills of being self sufficient from the elders of my own family. Its a sad reminder of the loss of people in my life, but life is what it is, and it made me feel good inside to be there doing it with Tom. If I took other peoples lives for granted while they were alive, I am sure I would feel guilty. Karma taught me many years ago to live/love for today, not hoping for tomorrow. The feelings of spending time together brought me some really good, much needed kinship. I suppose we humans, the ones searching to live self sufficient, search/look to elders for knowledge. I can see this idea in many Indian tribes and history that I have read about them.
So gathering sap, boiling it, adding more sap while boiling it, until you run out of sap and end up with a syrup in your pan. Filtering is a small issue to consider when taking this on, but common sense goes a long ways. The more sap you can boil, or larger batch you can do, the less filtering you have to do. I did a quart jar of fines, what is fines? Fines is a term Tom uses to describe the final end product of syrup that contains all the really fine particles that he isn't willing to figure out how to remove, and they are super fine.
So, if you have ten minutes to spend with me and watch my video, it won't be ten minutes wasted. I hope that you learn something about syrup making and enjoy the video.
If you remember it was just a few years ago when I attended a how to class sponsored by the state on making maple syrup. Now I have 7 pints of of syrup to last me till next year.