Old things

Some trees live a long time. Depends on species, growing conditions, and disease and pest risks.

These old sugar maples–100+–are just down the road from my house. Years ago, I tapped this stand of maples, along with enough other trees to produce about 30-50 gallons of syrup each spring.

These days, I get syrup from my neighbor Bryan who has a permanent sugar shack and much more sophisticated equipment than I ever had. We tapped trees with the old-style spigots, buckets and lids, gathering by hand with a horse or tractor-drawn wagon. Bryan uses the modern piping system and has a carefully calibrated evaporator.

Photo below was taken in the ’70s–that’s me on the left with my old neighbor Milan Conklin and my dog Sheba–boiling sap on our outdoor sugar “arch.” I’d stay up all night to watch the boil, continuously adding sap to the sugar pan.

We know how to have fun on the Maple Ridge Road.

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