Friday, November 19, 2010

maple syrup

Now why would I be talking about maple syrup in November? Well today we got our loan to buy a commercial sap evaporator, or "saperator"!  We prayed for Gods guidance and took wise counsel from a wonderful man, my Dad, thank you Dad, and prayed more, and were blessed with the finances. The man we bought it from even knocked $250 off the price of it!  What a blessing! We started making our own maple syrup when Little Matt was 1ish, and I was huge pregnant with DaLaney, that is why the evaporator is referred to as the saperator. He dubbed it that, and we thought it was cute, and it kinda stuck. We have gotten better at making maple syrup over the years too, lots of trial and error, lots of wise counsel from others who do it, and tons of fun!  I'll admit the first stuff we made was not fit for human consumption, it was thick, black and tasted like smoke!  but we had a blast making it!  We were outside, in the wind (did I ever mention we have lots of wind up here on the farm)? We boiled it down in a homemade sap pan that we paid for with some of our savings, and on an old wood stove!! That is why it tasted like smoke! Yup, I've got pictures too, maybe soon I'll be able to share them, but for now just picture that in your mind!! We wanted to sell it, but had a long way to go, and in the state of Maine it has to be boiled down inside a building and in a stainless steal pan. Well, we had the stainless steal pan, but not the building. So began our hunt for a building and a place to put it. Matthew had on order to fill at the mill and the man that wanted the order owned a small shed down the road from us in a hay field!  See it coming? Well, Matthew being the man he is asked for a barter, the order for the shed! Bingo! Now where to put it? In comes our wonderful neighbors that share a driveway with us. They are truly some of the nicest people we've ever met!  They own the10 acre hay field next to us, and we asked if we could put it in the corner of the field, and pay the extra taxes that would incur from the building. They said yes! Now we have our sap building!  So over the course of 7 years we have a good product to enjoy and to sell! We had to admit that the last two years we had out grown our little saperator, but were still not ready to get a bigger one, so we started looking, and pricing them. Now the time is right, and the time to buy is now, before another sap season. We will be so much more efficient, time wise, and can add some more taps comfortably, and it will cut our boiling time down, and can do more gallons per hour! Now we can go get our new saperator and get it ready for the spring!  I can almost smell the wonderful, sticky aroma of the sap boiling down now!!