Tapped our 4 maple trees Sat afternoon and by this evening we have about 32 gallons collected. Based on what DH has been reading this year might be a short season for us. We'll probably need to start boiling the sap down in the next day or so just to have empty pails available.
Syrup for the year
What sap to syrup ratio do you normally get? I think here is it about 40:1. I watched the latest episode of Stoney Ridge Farmer where he went to a maple farm in his state of NC. They have a 55:1 ratio. I don't know why his trees would have less sugar in the sap unless maybe they are a different variety?
Yep, there is a reason people don't tap trees in the south
The general process, as far as the tree and is sap is concerned, is that as the winter temperatures start to warm above freezing the dormant tree starts pumping sap to the branches. But the temp pretty much has to go below freezing then back above for this "pumping" to happen. It has occasionally happened in January here but when the temp drops back below freezing, the sap stops running. The "usual" sugaring season here can start anywhere from February through March depending on the temps.
The syrup of the south is sorghum syrup, better known as sugar cane syrup. My grandparents used to buy cane syrup in the fall, from local syrup makers. My grandmother made biscuits with breakfast and I loved to put cane syrup on them.
There is a syrup festival in Henderson every fall, complete with a mule driven cane crushing machine, the wood fired syrup pan, someone to do the skimming and lots of cane syrup for sale. We went one year, it was a bit of nostalgia and yes, I got a couple cans of syrup.