This site is an archive of For the latest information about Susy and her adventrures, visit the Cultivate Simple site.
Thank you for all your support over the years!

Tap, Tap, Tap…

February 15th, 2018

When we lived in Ohio, Valentine’s day was always the day we tapped our maple trees. We’d put in one tap and wait until it started flowing, then we’d tap the rest of the maple trees. Typically, I tap the trees in late February here in Maine. When Mr Chiots looked at the forecast, he said it looked like perfect sugaring weather.

I decided to tap one tree to monitor the flow, as soon as I started drilling the hole the sap started flowing.

I ended up putting in 8 taps yesterday, all but one was flowing. I may add more tomorrow, but I may stop at 8. Coincidentally, Valentine’s Day is also the day I fertilize all my indoor citrus trees as well. I find setting major holidays as dates to do certain chores works very well for me.

Is maple syrup produced in your area? Do you have set holidays when you do certain chores?

If you’d like to read more about small scale maple sugaring, I highly recommend this book: Backyard Sugarin’: A Complete How-To Guide (4th Edition)

3 Comments to “Tap, Tap, Tap…”
  1. Deb on February 15, 2018 at 9:28 am

    I’m in Ohio also, south of Findlay, and we put our taps whenever I ask my hubby to help. We put in 18 taps mid-January. I have cooked 9 gal sap so far. I do it on our propane range in the house. Wood heat is so drying that it helps a lot. When the windows fog a bit I open a kitchen window just a bit. Works well and 1 yr. I did 93 gal. that way for 2 gal. syrup. We do have Silver Maples though. They are about 42: 1. It’s 50* this AM so don’t know how they will go. A few days of not below freezing so I will let it go until buds get to going well. Last yr. was very little so was hoping this yr. was more. It’s for our personal use. We use taps the same as you do but hang plastic jugs on them. I don’t have enough 1/2 gal glass jars and use them for herb storage and need them for getting our raw milk. I buy all the glass vinegar jugs I can find and all 1/2 gal. mason jars. Thrift shops, auctions, and such are good for those sometimes. Have a great sugar season.

    Reply to Deb's comment

  2. Nebraska Dave on February 15, 2018 at 11:00 am

    Susy, it always fascinates me the creativity of the human race. Who first thought to tap a tree and boil down the sap into syrup. I’ve never really researched to see if there are any trees in my area that would be beneficial to tapping the sap. some day I’ll have a propane burner in my back yard and may look into it a little more just to see if it is possible here in Nebraska. We have a variety of trees and I do know that other trees and not just sugar maple can be used to make syrup. I don’t think we have many sugar maple trees

    Have a great sap tapping day.

    Nebraska Dave

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  3. Sara on February 15, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    That’s so funny I was looking back to see when I usually plant onions and noticed it was always near Valentine’s Day, so I figured I should just do it on purpose this year as it’s easy to remember! I also tend to aim for Halloween for planting garlic.

    Reply to Sara's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

Read previous post:
Couch Potatoes

The Winter Olympics have been on for the past few nights, which means we've been parked on the couch watching...