A Tree of a Different Color

The perceived beginning of a season is more critical at certain times of the year than others.  When temperatures in February and March swing from below freezing at night to near 40 during the day, a magical thing happens to sugar maples here in the Northeast.


Sap begins to flow, then it is collected, boiled down and it becomes maple syrup.  Legend claims that an Indian chief had his ax in a tree and one spring morning when he retrieved his ax the tree began to drip and his wife boiled venison in the liquid.


While times have changed as well as the methods used to collect and process the sap, syrup is still basically made by collecting sap and boiling or evaporating the water from it to be left with pure maple syrup.  Sap runs can last a single day or may string several days together depending on the temperature swing and sunlight available to warm the tree itself.  In a typical season, runs can happen for a couple weeks up to five or more and will produce good syrup until buds begin to form on the trees.

Uncle Joe’s Sap House

Having lived in the Adirondacks all my life, I have seen several sugar operations but this is my first time hanging buckets and boiling with my cousin at my Uncle Joe’s sugar bush.  Although I had bought sap buckets and taps to make lamps, this year I decided to put some of them to their intended use and make syrup before crafting them into their repurposed function as a lamp.  So look for my sap bucket lamps and tap finials, of course with Teresa’s shades and also some fresh maple syrup made from those buckets and taps… Coming to Rustic Charm in late April.A more contemporary method of tapping sugar maples currently being used by our son Curtis at Grape Hollow Farm in Holmes, NYOur son's first batch at Grape Hollow Farm in Dutchess County, NY