Tap! Tap! Tap!

Trees in THO forest

My grandma liked to sing – and among the hundreds of little toe tapping songs she taught to us when we were children, there is one that sticks to my mind today… I don’t know if it is a real song – but this is how I remember it it.

“What will we do if the bed breaks down?

Sleep on the floor.

What will we do if the money runs out?

Work hard for more.

What will we do if the wood runs low?

Chop down some more.

Chop. Chop. Chop.

Chop. Chop. Chop.

Chop down some more.”

Today, I am also tapping my toes somewhat impatiently because my husband is returning from one of his business trips.  I am anxious for him to return because we hoped to tap a few maple trees together this year and the sap is running.  I don’t want to make a big operation of it, but I thought it would be nice to have 4 or five litres for our own use.  Maybe a small bit of maple sugar candy too.  It takes quite some sap to make a little bit of syrup; anywhere from 10-20 gallons to make a litre so there is a lot cooking down to do!

The land here has about 5 good solid acres of tappable maple trees and with the slope, it would also be quite a sensible spot for a sugar shack – gravity would do all the lugging or if there were lines the slope would do all the thinking for me.    This means the workload would be a little less than it is for some sugar producers.

When I move here full time, maple syrup is an option for a small source of income.  As you know, I don’t need to make much money to live well.  As things exist right now – I estimate that would be able to live very comfortably on $500/month.

Sugar is a lot of work, good exercise though!

Tap, tap, tapping…

Categories: Forest, Nature, Off Grid, Ontario, Sustainable living, Tiny House Ontario | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Tap! Tap! Tap!

  1. My grade 2 teacher made maple sugar every year from the trees on our school property, and that was inner city Toronto. It gave every one of us a gift of process, as we watched the tapping of the trees each year for the grade 2 students… And I remember the smell and the taste now after 40 years.

    • Hi Lois,
      Yes… it is an enduring scent. I remember it well from my childhood too… our neighbour Jeff produced it in a huge vat in the driveway of their farm. I ran over every day to see the progress and get a little ladled onto snow. It sounds like you had a wonderful grade 2 teacher!

    • strivingfortiny

      What a wonderful education and fond memory!

  2. strivingfortiny

    That song is adorable and inspirational!!
    I tried boiling sap once. It’s a long process and steamed up all my windows, lolol. If I ever do it again i’ll boil it outside on a burner :-/

    • You must have done just a little bit. When we were young – a friend of mine, who married young and didn’t know better did a huge bunch of syrup in her kitchen. Everything in the house was a sticky mess. She had to wash everything! Even rented a steam cleaner to do her sofa and rugs. No one ever makes it in the house twice.

      • strivingfortiny

        Oh god!!! Lolol! Yes! Things got sticky! It was gross. Lol

  3. I hope you get to tap your trees this year, I love real maple syrup and we have plenty of maples around here to tap. When do you plan to move to your tiny house full time?

    • It won’t be too soon. Ideally, there are a few things that need doing before I make the switch. The list of stuff is simple but costly. I want to pay off the land, dig a well, build a shed, properly roof the cloth porch, and have a good reliable working heat source. If I win the lottery tonight… I am moving tomorrow… otherwise – hopefully 2016.

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