Urban Maple Syrup Harvesting

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As Canadians we say “eh”, wear a bit too much flannel, and occasionally ride a moose (meese?) to work. There is however one distinctly Canadian pastime that’s is rather elusive to those of us who live in the city. The mysterious art of Maple tree tapping.

Living in a city the idea honestly never crossed my mind… but then one day I realized that the streets of my neighborhood where lined with Maple trees.

Legal disclaimer: I’m not sure what the legal ramifications are for harvesting Maple Sap from city property, they could get sticky. The taste ramifications however are tremendous.

There’s lots of technical blah blah blah that is important to read up on, but it’s pretty simple stuff. Overnight we ended up with 5 gallons of Maple sap from just one tree.

Step 1: On the south facing side of a tree drill a 3/16” hole 1.5” into the Maple tree, 2 feet above the ground. Drill the hole at a slightly upwards angle so the sap can drip down. Don’t drill more than two holes in a tree. While 1 or 2 holes are perfectly safe, drilling more can cause excess stress and damage to the tree.

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Step 2: Insert the brass nipple fitting and attach a length of rubber hose to it so you can drain the sap into a food grade container.

Step 3: Wait… the best results come when it drops below freezing overnight and it warms up during the day.

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Step 4: Boil off the excess water (it’s approximately 40 parts water to 1 part syrup… so this will take a while) and pour what’s left on your waffles. Loosen up your flannel shirt and enjoy. 5 gallons of sap boiled down to about a quart of amazing fresh 100% pure maple syrup.

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Step 5: Locate the most ridiculous looking container you can find and fill it up. Make waffles. Consume. Rinse and repeat.

Written by Cameron Brown

January 22nd, 2012 at 10:09 am

Posted in Project