Thursday, March 9, 2017

#100dayproject | day 6

Smoke and steam - a sight for sore eyes!

Woohoo! We fired up the evaporator for our first boil of the season on Tuesday and we feel like kids in nature's candy shop!

The thrill at the sight of the Sugar Shack's billowing smoke stacks never diminishes. For one, there are many hurdles to overcome in the business of getting our 500-700 tap operation all set to go. Miles of tubing to inspect and repair. Equipment to tweak. Supplies to order. So we get pretty stoked when everything falls into place and we are ready to light that match. One can get so busy with the succession of tasks that it would be easy to forget what really makes the endeavor so special. 

Sugaring season is a harbinger of Spring like no other. Maple sap, the lifeblood of the trees, is like Spring in a glass. Around here, we drink it up while we can and even freeze some so that we can experience that subtle sweetness later in the year and remember. 

Remember the sound of the frozen trees creeking in the wind and the hollow in the snow at the base of each tree. Remember frozen fingertips and sweaty brows. Remember walking on the top of the snow, the crust holding our weight... and then not quite holding our weight any longer. The bite of the wind and the intensity of the sun. The indescribable blue of the sky and impossible green of the first shoots of wild leek. Remember the joy in seeing the clear, life-giving liquid spill from the tap hole before the spile is placed in it. Tipping our heads back for the first taste.

That we are able to harvest this tree juice and turn it into the sweetness known as Maple syrup is a bonus. The connection with this miraculous season - and the ancient tradition of sugaring - every year is the real treat. 

Did you know that our Maple sugaring operation is an all-volunteer run project? We call it the Friends of the Wagbo Sugar Bush and we have both working and supporting members. Our mission is to share the Agri-Cultural tradition of Maple Sugaring with our greater community through production of Maple products and participation in the process (volunteer and educational opportunities, field trips, tours and events). We are run by the community, for the community.

Come connect with us and the trees. We love to share this experience. Volunteer - no experience required, a variety of skills are appreciated. Schedule your group field trip. Attend our Annual Open House - always the last Saturday of March.

Or just pop in when you see the smoke and steam arisin'!

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