Nearly finished, the sap has now caramelized and concentrated until it's the maple syrup we know and love.
A friend of ours casually mentioned the other day that she had tapped her mother's maple tree and was planning on turning it into syrup on her stove. But get this: our friend doesn't live in Vermont. Or in Canada. Or anywhere pictured in an LL Bean catalog. She and her mother are both urbanites from Boston, Massachusetts!
The pictures in the gallery above are all from our friend. She used a milk jug (cleaned, of course!) to catch the sap as it siphoned from the tree, and then boiled the sap into syrup on her stove. She said her backyard maple syrup tastes more caramel-like than expected, but it will definitely be featured on some pancakes very soon.
If you're interested in doing some backyard tapping of your own, check out this site: Tap My Trees.
The site gives step-by-step instructions on selecting trees, purchasing equipment, and collecting sap. You can collect sap and make syrup even if you only have one tree available to you. The required equipment also doesn't look too extensive or hard to come by. This is totally doable for newbies.
Some of the site's best advice, in our decidedly non-outdoors-man opinion? Figure out which trees in your yard are maples while they still have their (very distinctive) leaves on the branches! Don't worry, there are ways to identify maple trees even right now when they're completely bare.
The best time to tap your trees is right now, so get your spile and get tapping! The trees will keep producing sap for another month or two.
Do you collect maple sap from your trees? Any advice to share?
Check Out The Website! Tap My Trees
Related: Maple Syrup Cocktails: A Sweet Way to Celebrate Spring
(Images: Rebekah Lea)