Saturday, February 4, 2012

Saving Money Challenge: Make Your Own Maple Syrup

I don't do this.  But my father does.  Some people believe that there is no such thing as a hillbilly in Connecticut.  They haven't met my father.  He knows I love him though, so he won't take offense if he reads this (I don't think he will read this.  He just switched from dialup to high speed internet about 2 months ago - I'm not even sure if he knows I write this blog).

So my father lives on like 3.1 acres of land.  In Connecticut.  Yes, apparently you can still own this much land in certain parts of the state.  I call Bridgeport my homeland - and yeah, you aren't scoring yourself 3 acres in B-port.  You have to go north.


Here's Daddy's property.  It looks like Vermont, but it's not.  I think he only has a pond because he needs drinking water.  I don't think people up in those neck of the woods know what public water is yet.  He also has a big tank for his poop buried in his yard.  That's pretty nasty, but I guess some people like it.  So how does Daddy make his own maple syrup for free? Let me show you:

My father collects 5 gallon buckets of sap during the winter.  You need a lot of these buckets full of sap.  He does this by hammering in sap thingys to his trees.  I hope you aren't reading this for actual knowledge on how to make your own syrup - because quite honestly, I'm clueless.  I'm just at a lost of how to save money today. This seemed like a good idea.  


Then you need a really big fire which means you need a lot of wood.  He used a lot of old pallets that he got somewhere for free.

Then you have to set up your fire pit with your big drums of sap and you have to boil them down.  This takes a long time.  


Then you have to do things like scoop the crap off the top of it while it's boiling.  


Then it just keeps boiling and boiling.  This is about the time I usually fall asleep.  The only thing more boring than watching paint dry is watching sap boil.

 

Eventually, you'll get maple syrup.  You can buy really pretty jars to put it in.

So go!  Tap your trees!  Make maple syrup!  Just a warning - you need something insane like 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.  So you need a lot of trees on your property.  And you need a lot of time to watch all these gallons of sap boil down.  But if you're cheap enough, you'll do it.  That's what my Daddy does.  




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