Maple sugar, maple syrup, maple candies…oh my goodness! All these and more come from a simple tree. But you won't be able to just cut open the tree and get what you want from inside, you have to use the art of actually tapping the trees and collecting the maple sap from the tree. But that is not all. We have the chance to study all about this process and actually tap a tree with the Starter Kit with Aluminum Buckets from Tap My Trees! I am so excited to share with you more about this!
First of all, it is too early to actually tap a tree here in Minnesota, but we have already started the studying of the process so when the time is right, we will be ready to go! How do you start to study? Besides wasting away on Pinterest, you can start reading the included Maple Sugaring at Home book. This book has all you really need to know to get yourself some maple sugar!
First things first, you need to know what equipment you will be using during the maple sugar season. With the starter kit, you will get a lot of different items that may be new to you if you are new to the maple sugaring process. This is a great time to get yourself and your children to get to know the items in your kit. These items include 3 of each a spile, hook, bucket, and lid. With this kit you will also get the drill bit you need and some cheesecloth along with Maple Sugaring at Home.
After learning about your supplies, you are going to want to go and identify your maple tree. There are four different maple trees that are great to tap, the sugar, black, red and silver maples. If needed, you could also tap a birch or walnut, although their sugar content is not as great.
The first and easiest way to start identifying your tree, would be to look at the habitat. After making sure you are in the right area, we are in east central Minnesota, so we are in the right location, you want to start looking at the leaves. Maple trees have some of the most beautiful colors for leaves in the fall, and the shape of them will help you to determine also. You can also look at the bark, and twig/buds of the trees. But the one main way we knew our tree in the front yard was a maple, was the fruit. That fun "helicopter" fruit you throw into the air as a kid, or adult if you are me! This was a great way to know what we were looking at in the trees in our yard, and grandma's yard as well.
We had a lot of fun learning about the different kinds of maples. Did you know that they let their fruit go at different times during the year, the red maple in the spring and in the fall for a sugar maple? Even though they are all maples, each of these four have a different type of leaf. And those leaves usually end up being a different color. This was almost as much fun as the anticipation we have for actually tapping our trees.
After finding our maple, we looked at the next section of the book, "Tapping Trees". We learned about when we can start planning on tapping our maples, we have to wait until the end of February or even into March when our day time temperatures rise above freezing and our night time temperatures still fall below freezing. Once we are able to tap, we will have 4-6 weeks worth of sap flowing from our maples.
We are beyond excited to actually tap our trees, and with the quality of the products we received, I don't think we will have any problems. I am also very confident that I will not have an issue with any of the steps thanks to the detailed instructions within this manual. They even have drawings and pictures that show me what I need to know, and I work well with drawings and pictures!
Now after we collect our sap, we have further steps to take before we can have syrup. The supplies needed for that are not included, but are not that hard to obtain or purchase. While we have had fun learning about our trees, while we are excited about tapping our trees, the best part of this whole process is knowing that in the end we will have a sweet treat!
All in all, we are thrilled to have this product. The quality of the product is there, and it is not a simple two-page instruction flyer on how to use this, you have a full book, did I mention it had pictures?! This is something that I can see us using year and year again! I can't wait to update you on how we actually did on our tree tapping, keep an eye out!