The sap isn’t flowing hard yet. Our season for tapping has just started. The nights need to be around freezing and the days need to warm up, to get a good flow. Our nights have been near freezing, but we are in a rainy, cool day spell.. but we have some warmer days in the forecast! We are all set up with taps and jugs on 4 hard/ sugar maples and 4 soft maples. We have 15 taps total, so when the flow does start. We should be busy! You can see one nights worth in the bottom of the above jug. I am just keeping what we get in frig for now, till we have enough to start boiling down for syrup.
Gerald got the cooking stove all finished! He did a super job! If need be, the top can accommodate two pans, turned sideways. I am always amazed at his fabrication skills. Again, using a lot of recycled metal pieces to make the top part, where the pan (s) will sit.
He designed all the parts to push the heat right up to the cooling area on top. Then lined the inside with bricks that will not only hold heat, but also keep the firewood from direct contact with the barrel.
We did a trial run to burn out any oil residue out of the drum, and to make sure the dampers work well. We also put some water in the pan to check that the heat was sufficient to instigate evaporation.
Worked wonderfully! Look at that water steam! Just perfect, the heat is directed right where it needs to go!
Today was our anniversary, and my husband said when this was finished tonight, that he hadn’t even had time to go get a card. I told him, who needs a card when they have their very own homemade wood stove, handcrafted by their hubby! Right ladies?!
The only thing we have to do is get more firewood stacked. We have a start. My beautiful niece Stephanie has a lot of wood for us we still have to go fetch.
In other news, we had a little Imbolc gift exchange amongst we members of the Springfield Sanctuary Apprenticeship group. Isn’t this the most beautiful Snowdrop mandala I received from my exchange partner Jo-Ann!?
Herbal and Honey Hugs to all who visit Comfrey Cottages xxx