Each Sunday in March the Farmers' at our Museum prepare to gather Maple sap and boil it down to make Maple Syrup. Here at The Farmers' Museum the public are invited to come visit, have a pancake breakfast, and to join the Farmers as they make Maple syrup.
The first step is tapping the trees. Sap is drawn from the Maple trees using a spout called a Spile.
A hole is drilled in the tree for the spile.
Each tree generally has one or two spiles and buckets.
In 1845 the buckets were wood. We also use the tinned buckets that have been popular for the last 100 years.
We use our draft animals to help collect the maple sap. Since 40 gallons of sap is needed to make one gallon of syrup there is a lot to haul! Here is a picture of collecting the sap with oxen.
The sap then needs to be boiled down to make syrup. The oldest method is to use an iron pot over the fire.
The newer method is to use a flat bottomed evaporator pan. Here is our pan over the fire starting to boil the sap!
Come join us on a Sunday in March to see traditional Sugaring Off!
I have been blacksmithing for 15 years. At The Farmers' Museum I teach classes, present blacksmithing demonstrations daily, make historically accurate tools and hardware, and research life and work in the 19th century. My past experiences include billboard painter, 15 years teaching American History, management of a small town library, and leadership in several blacksmithing organizations.