By Noel Perrin
Perrin's offers this pleasant account of establishing a sugarhouse and makingmaple sugar in Vermont.
Read Online or Download Amateur Sugar Maker PDF
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Extra resources for Amateur Sugar Maker
The settler had made the trough himself, by the simple process of hollowing out a piece of pine log. Gathering was equally simple. When a trough Page 51 got full, he lugged it to the nearest iron kettle, and dumped. He didn't have to walk any three hundred yards, either. A kettle can only handle the sap from a couple of dozen maples, because the boiling is so slow, so he had one set up in each clump of trees, suspended between two log posts. He built the first fire as soon as he dumped the first gallon of sap.
The easiest way to do that is to hit the tree with an axe. And this is, in fact, what the early settlers did. Come spring, each farmer, grasping his narrow axe like Thoreau, would head for his sugar orchard. When he reached the first tree, he'd give it a good whack. " Then he'd swing his axe once more and give a final, slightly harder whack an inch below. Into this bottom cut he stuck a broad chip of wood. Sap would then trickle down the bark, out to the end of the chip, and drip into a little trough set underneath.
He added that he'd bought up the contents of an old ruined sugarhouse two farms away, kept what he wanted, and this up here was what was left. The buckets were in fact in terrible shape, but eventually I found ten that seemed worth taking. The lids were even worse, not much better than Page 66 my five homemade ones, besides being filthy. But I picked out ten of them, too, meanwhile coming on a wooden box full of spoutsa collection of just about all the types made between 1870 and 1930. We agreed I'd look them over back at the house, it being probably a little below zero in that barn.