Sunday, February 28, 2010

Maple Sugaring--Our Story

We sugar at our friend Carl’s house. Carl is a mechanic, radio guy, and all-around tinkerer who makes his own vegetable-based fuels and plows his driveway with an ancient truck that has no breaks. “Putting the plow down will stop you.” Carl has been a great friend and mentor to us. We would not have gotten through our first years in Vermont without his generosity.

Carl and his son, Abe, have built a sugar shack for the sugaring season from odds and ends. They are remarkable scroungers. This year Carl has replaced his small evaporator with a new pan which used to be a commercial operator’s old finishing pan. The fire is built in a big chamber beneath the pan made of cinder blocks. This year, we went up earlier than usual. “I don’t usually like to start in February,” Carl said, but the warm weather during the days had started the sap running. Baby Yub Yub, rode in the sled with the taps and buckets. When she got tired of that, she splashed in the muddy potholes in the driveway. Carl had already set the taps for about half of the buckets. We did the other half. We helped reset the cinder blocks around his stove and admired Carl’s new and larger chimney. Thag also dug out a deep hole in the nearby bank of snow for a big 50 gallon bucket. We will empty the buckets we gather from the trees into this drum when the evaporating pan is full.

No comments:

Post a Comment