Sapping {Part Two}

Hello, friends!

I hope you are all having a lovely week! Today, I bring you the next part in my tapping trees series. If you missed part one, you can check it out right here.

(This post is shorter than usual to due to some internet problems. That is also why this post is out on Monday instead of Friday. )

Once we tap the trees, we have to do multiple rounds of collecting each week. We usually go up two-three times a week and bring buckets of sap down.

We first run around checking buckets in our main grove and seeing which ones have sap in them. Zekey is over heading over to check buckets in this picture.

Once we check the buckets, we bring new (empty) buckets over and pull the full buckets off the trees.

Then, we pour the sap into an empty bucket.

Once it’s in, we put a lid on it and carry it over to the Ranger. (Before we had our Ranger, we would carry all the buckets down the hill.)

From there, we load up the buckets and repeat with each of the trees.

One evening, we went collecting right as the sun was setting, it was so pretty! I love how the sun is shining through the trees here.

And also, this one! All the pine-trees make it even more beautiful. ❤

Once we’re done with the collecting, we drive all the buckets down in the Ranger and bring them into the mudroom, where we have our Reverse Osmosis (RO) set up. And for this part, we have a video! It’s not the greatest, but you get the picture from watching it. So here it is!

Did you enjoy the video? I hope it was interesting and made sense. =D The reverse osmosis process removes about half of the water from the sap. Typically in reverse osmosis one would want to keep the clear freshwater, but in our case, we want to keep the sweet more concentrated sap instead.

After we run it through the RO, we bring it back outside to the boiler. The sap sits in a large pan (about 3 feet by 3 feet and 12 inches deep) on top of the stove. We boil the sap so it lets out steam for the sugar content to increase and the water content to decrease. It takes about 35-40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.

It takes a LOT of wood, so dad and the twins were splitting it while we were boiling.

We keep adding sap to the boiler as it boils to continue the process of removing water. We boiled for about 13 hours to boil around 80 gallons of sap into about 4 gallons of syrup. (The RO removed the first 80 gallons of water for us.)

And we’re going to stop there! In the next post in this series, I’ll share the bottling and finishing process, as well as the sign-up for the giveaway. Expect that in the next two or three weeks!

What’s your favorite thing to put syrup on? Do you have any questions about the process?

Thank you so much for reading, friends, and have a wonderful day!

Cheerio 2021: A look back on this past year

Hello, my friends!

I don’t know about you, but I loved 2021. I learned so much and did so much, but I am ready to have a fresh start in 2022. Today, I thought I would share a highlight (Well, it turned out to be a few more than just one highlight) from each month in 2021.

January

Nothing big happened in January 2021, but there were a few small highlights. My siblings and I enjoyed getting pulled behind our UTV in the snow, a few ski trips, and night sledding activities with our youth group.

February

We were finally able to see my grandparents inside during February after not going inside with them since the beginning of COVID. Also, Valentine’s day was very fun. We did a sibling exchange called Secret Valentine for valentines day. I wrote a short story and submitted it to a contest.

March

We went on a really pretty and ski trip in March. It was wonderful to do be able to ski again there. And, I got first place in the short story contest I entered in. March overall was a blessng.

April

We had our one last snowstorm. We had a very nice Ressurection Sunday celebrating our Savior’s death and resurrection. My uncle and aunt and cousins were able to visit and we had a wonderful time decorating eggs, and renting the movie theater, and watching Tom and Jerry with my cousins. Also, another season of spring soccer which with my sister, and two cousins on my team, it turned out to be. . . .eventful to say the least.

May

May was busy! I joined a writing program that I’ve mentioned before called the Young Writer’s Workshop, as well as participated in the event I just did last week, called Crazy Writing Week. I finished up my school year too. We ended our 2021 spring soccer season sadly with one to nothing loss. It was a fun season anyway, and some events that I will remember forever.

June

All of my siblings except the two youngest did swim team, which turned out to be really fun. I made a few new friends and was able to catch up with some old friends. I had a personal best time in the freestyle which was exciting. Also, I won third place in another writing challenge which I truly enjoyed.

July

My birthday’s in July and it turned out to be a really fantastic day. We had my grandparents over, and then my best friend slept over that night, and it was almost like my Birthday lasted for two instead of one. I got some really neat gifts and went swimming at my grandma’s with my cousin and aunt. We finished up our swim team season by losing our first conference meet in eight years. That was quite sad, but swim team had been a fun season besides that disappointment.

August

We took a trip up to my mom’s cousin’s lake house for ten days in August, we enjoyed swimming in the lake, jumping off the dock, kayaking, paddle boating, yard games, campfires, eating ice cream and smores, and much more.

September

School started again! As well as the fair here. My family and I had a fun time checking out the fair and entering some art projects and creative things. Also, my older sister and brother both had sports, soccer for my brother and cross country for my sister. I enjoyed going to most of their meets and games. Plus, I started a new writing project in September.

October

We had a great fall camping trip in October, it was incredibly beautiful with all the leaves turning, too cold to swim though. We ended up losing our frisbee in the water which required some wading, but we didn’t end up finding it. We also took a few hikes along the rocks.

November

I launched my blog in November! That was definitely a highlight. I really enjoyed designing this, and I’ve loved writing posts and becoming a blogger. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m looking forward to the journey ahead. As well as launching my blog, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration, and we picked out our Christmas tree and got our decorations out.

December

Well, December is always busy. Christmas brings so much busyness, along with trying to wrap up those last few goals you have waiting. We had our first ski trip and did so much more. You can check out my post here for more details on what I did in December.

Overall, this year has been a year for beginnings, and for endings. I am so thankful for God blessing me with all of these wonderful events. I am excited to see what 2022 is going to bring as well.

Thank you so much for reading, and I’d love to hear from you; what was your favorite highlight from 2021 for you? Let me know in the comments.