Cleaning Sap Buckets in
Almost-July

Dateline: 30 June 2013



Tomorrow is July! It's high time I scrubbed out the maple sap buckets from last spring. I took the buckets down and pulled the sap spiles out of the trees as soon as we stopped boiling syrup, but the buckets have been outdoors under our wood shed since then, waiting for me to wash them out and put them away properly. I'm not usually such a procrastinator, but with my new book and other demands, I've let this little task go undone too long!



I heat water up in our makeshift evaporator pan, add some detergent, and scrub inside and outside with a green Scotch-brite pad. Then I stack the buckets on a pallet in the sun to dry...





All 25 sap buckets are accounted for. And 25 covers are in the evaporator pan, yet to be scrubbed. Unfortunately, I have only 23 sap spikes. The two missing ones are not in the trees. I'm sure of that. Maybe they'll turn up. 

Once thoroughly air-dried, the buckets and covers will be stacked up on a shelf in a shed, ready to use come next spring.

That's a good job done!




2 comments:

Cynthia (C.L) Lewis said...

Any tips on identifying sugar maples? We have a maple whose branch broke off around sugaring time and the sap dripped sweet but other than that we aren't sure what to look for. We saw lots of tapped trees this year.

Herrick Kimball said...

Cynthia,

You can tell by the leaf shape.

But if the sap was noticeably sweet, it's probably a sugar maple.