Two days ago I tasted fresh maple sap, just collected from the tree. It was slightly sweet and fresh and cold. It tasted like life itself.
The wonder of the maple trees did not stop there. I also had the extraordinary experience to tap a tree that has never been tapped before. I drilled the whole myself, then gently tapped the spile into the tree with a hammer, and lastly installed the bucket and the lid.
I am so grateful to my friend Anne, who invited me to her cottage for this sacred experience.
Here are a couple of facts about the tapping of the maple trees:
- The sap starts to flow between mid-February and mid-March and it flows when daytime temperatures rise above freezing and nighttime temperatures fall below freezing.
- The rising temperature creates pressure in the tree generating the sap flow. This is basically a transfer of the sap from the tree above the ground and the root system below the ground. The sap generally flows for 4 to 6 weeks, with the best sap produced early on in the sap-flowing season.
- It takes about 40 litres of sap to make 1 litre of maple syrup.
- The finest maple syrup is the first batch, also called a the first run. It is light in color, delicate in taste and simply put, exquisite. The following batches become darker in color and have stronger taste.
Here’s me hugging my maple tree. The blue bucket will gather the life-tasting elixir.