You can see that that our family has held to the traditional ways, no fancy building here! It is treasured as it is, and I'll show you why.
On the interior wall you see initials of my son's great-grandfather,... dated 1918! There are other notations on the walls that are farther ago than that, but those did not photograph well.
This is looking up from the boiling pans to the opening above where the steam rolls skyward.
My son is adding wood to the fire beneath the boiling pans. Some modern operations have oil-fired boilers, all encased in stainless steel and in well finished rooms. For us, the old way, while perhaps a lot more work, is interesting. We have had school classes visit to watch this traditional process.
The back half of the sugar house is where the wood is piled. By the end of the boiling season most of this will be gone. Used to feed the fire that boiled the sap. In the photo below you see the steam rising from the pans of boiling sap. Strainers rest across the pan's upright walls, waiting to skim any froth from the top of the sap.
The sap enters in one end of the system of connected pans, and as it thickens toward syrup consistency it moves forward to the final pan where it is drawn off. Here my daughter-in-law brings more sap gathered from buckets on the trees. My grandsons watch. The sap is a clear liquid almost like water, but with a sweet taste.
According to studies, it takes four trees at least 40 years old to yield enough sap over six weeks to produce one gallon of maple syrup. It takes 40 gallons of sap to boil down to one gallon of syrup. I will have more photos and show how the syrup is tested for correct consistency, then strained into the plastic jugs, and also news of a "give-away!" Tune in tomorrow,...