Category Archives: produce

Drilling for Maple Sap

maple tools

…well the niece and nephews were out last weekend and they don’t get out that much to the country so I wanted to have some fun outdoorsy things to do to keep them busy..there is always the beaver dam, collecting eggs from the chickens ( which they always seem amazed by! ) and since it is maple syrup season I figured I would tap some trees and show them how to get maple syrup for themselves..or at very least how to tap a tree and then I told them the process the sap goes through to become syrup.

The tools needed are:

  • a wood drill with a bit that is slightly bigger than the tap you are going to put in
  • maple taps..I bought mine off of second hand 2 years ago
  • a hammer to tap in the tappy tap tap
  • small amount of wire
  • wire snips
  • container to hold sap..mine are ghetto…I had no proper containers so I had to improvise.

tap that tree!

It is really simple to actually..make sure the drill is charged. mine lasted 2 taps. At least it was enough to show the kids how it worked. Drill the hole 2-3 feet off the ground on the south side of the tree that gets sun. Syrup runs when it is hot and the sun helps with that. Have you ever noticed that when you sit in the sun for a couple of hours you seem warm? Well the same technology which powers the sun can also make sap run up the inside of a tree! Technology at work for you!! Yes, so 2-3 feet. Drill the hole..I go around 2 inches in.

the tap

Tap in the tap. Just tap it in. Tap, tap, tap…just tap it in. It wants to go into the tree..its the taps hole so just tap it in. Sorry..once I started it reminded me of Happy Gilmore. If you have no idea what I am talking about just smile and nod. ANyway, tap it until it is firmly set as it will have a litre of sap in a container attached to it so you want to be sure it is secure.

this is actually a tap that is slightly too big..not my best work

Take a nail and make a hole in the container you will be using to attached it to the tap you just tapped in.

make a hole for running wire

I used a large cranberry bottle, a small water bottle and a pasta sauce bottle to collect the sap. Ghetto! I am sure that a professional maple syrup producer would not be pleased to see me using whatever I could..but ( once again ) my philosopy is to get it done, not make it least in the first iteration. ( which is why my posts also have so many spelling mistakes! )


Put wire through holes and attach it to the tap so that the drip from the tap goes into said container.

That is it really..repeat the process on as many trees and taps you you wait for warm days and cold nights!

ghetto! I guess it is good to improvise..if you have to!

Oh..some of you might be wondering how to know which trees to tap since it is winter and some of the maple trees are difficult to identify without leaves on them..Well I have developed a sureproof winter method for maple tree idenitification…I memorize which trees are maples in the summer. It is foolproof! hehe.

hehe..this one makes me laugh..any port in a storm!

Gonna wait until I have a couple of days worth of sap saved before I reduce the sap and make syrup..don’t worry…I will post up!


Posted by on April 4, 2011 in Construction, fun, produce


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Heritage Seeds

..oops..I think I meant heirloom seeds..just noticed it. WHen I say ‘heritage’ you think ‘heirloom’

We are changing some things up this year with regard to the garden..we got some heritage seeds so hopefully we will be able to keep some of the produce and have some seeds for next year. We will be growing our usual veggies and augmenting with these. We said we would not start any indoors this year but it looks like that may change!


image posted this online last night with a mobile app and a couple of things went double posted then it did not upload the picture of the front of thee seed packs..which actually say what they are specifically..they are all fairly normal with the exception of a blue tomato..The guys selling them had pictures of the actual produce and it looked really neat so I wanted to give it a try myself!

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Posted by on March 22, 2011 in Gardening, produce


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First Strawberries of the Year

..with all these strawberries..I might get a handful of strawberries. not enough for jam.

Walking around the yeard we are..the 2nd week of May and we officially have a strawberry from the starwberries we planted last fall.  The strawberries have already been victim of a rabbit attack where an offending rodent chewed off 70% of the leaves from the plants but none of that mattered today as we officially have a berry! We are not expecting much but strawberrires come back year after year so we wanted to get started..the strawberries are in a spot where they get maximum sunlight in future years it will hopefully produce!

before I picked it..and ate good.

yummy and sweet!more on the way too!!more on the way too!!


..with all these strawberries..I might get a handful of strawberries. not enough for jam.

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Posted by on May 10, 2010 in Gardening, produce


2 garden boxes

A* and I got started on our veggie garden today…actually it has been a week long process but today we got the garden actually started. Last week I made some garden boxes..I bought some 2×10’s and added some support in the corners so it would not collapse. I did not use pressure treated or treat the wood myself since I do not want chemicals in my food growing least not chemicals I don’t add on purpose. I went with 4×4 boxes. We are doing raised boxes because the ground around here is not great for digging or growing..this is really our first attempt at growing food so we wanted to keep it really simple and after investigating this seemed like the best way to start. After the boxes were built I place them where they were going to go and dug up the area underneath. After that we got in the truck and went and got $60 worth of organic soil..then home and filled the boxes up..we did not pack it down and kept the soil we filled it we watered slightly…no problems..then we left it for a couple of days as we finalized what we wanted to grow and where.

need to make some supports for the climbing veggies now!

We settled on easy to grow veggies to start..some from seeds and some from transplants. We bought 6 tomato seedlings and from seed we started bush beans, summer squash, beets, zuchinni, lettuce, spinach and onions. We followed the directions on the seed packets and planted it all!..and now we wait.

..grow baby grow!

..while we waited I also got a start on a perimeter fence..Less is more so I cut off some hardwood trees that were thin enough and hammered them into the ground 8 feet we need some actual fencing..either way it is a start so hopefully in a couple of months we will have something to eat!


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