Saturday, March 19, 2011

Meanwhile Back Home in Pa....

While Linda and I are basking in the Texas warmth, I was reminded the other day, when I looked at my niece's facebook page, of events going on back home in Pennsylvania. It's maple syrup season and my brother is in full swing with collecting sap and boiling it down to make that wonderful golden product that so many of us love on our pancakes and such. My brother, Jim, has over a 1000 trees tapped and in this picture you can see his sap collecting truck. He has huge containers that he goes out to his collection points and gathers the sap. He brings it in and transfers it to this large stainless steel tank which is above the "sugar shack. Mom said that during a cold snap a few weeks back they turned on the spigot down in the sugar shack to fill the evaporator with sap and nothing came out. When they went and checked the holding tank, one of the pipes had frozen and busted and 1000 gallons of sap ran out on the ground...Oh no.... 
Jim used to have a wood fired evaporator but this year bought a huge, oil fired evaporator that makes boiling so much faster and eliminates stoking the fire throughout the process (not to mention cutting all that wood).
Reverse osmosis machine

Sap (tastes like sugar water)

Sugar Shack (you can see where he's built onto it)
Look at all the snow on the ground. I hope that they've had a warm up this week to get rid of some of this snow. Glad they have it and not us...Well, that's how maple syrup is made...Think of Jim next time you pour the real stuff over a stack of flap jacks (make mine chocolate chip please).

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