|Homemade spile from a ball point pen|
This Maple Syrup year started off really weird. The weather was super warm and the trees were hardly running. From March 1-21st we collected approximately 17 gallons of sap - which boiled down to 3 quarts of syrup. You can see that adventure here: Maple Syruping 2015 Part 1.
Now the trees are going crazy!! From March 22nd to the 25th I have already collected over 25 gallons of sap! Due to the weight and my lack of proper containment vessels, I have even lost a bunch of sap.
If you remember from the beginning of the month, one of our trees was a complete dud. It did not run a single drop. Well.....it's now running....all over the ground.
The problem is - we only have 5 buckets and spiles. I literally have no place to store all this sap, but I hate to waste any of it.
So I rigged a diy homemade spile and bucket set up for the dud tree that finally started running.
It was super easy. I cut the ends off of a ball point pen and stuck it in the tap hole. It turns out Bic pens are exactly 5/8" and fit perfectly. I then tied a bucket (my berry bucket) onto the tree with an extra long shoelace (pink - woo! The orange string is my marker so I can find the maples in the winter.)
I just need to fashion a lid to keep leaves, bugs, and animals out....
Plus I need to find a large holding tank! My refrigerator is full of sap, my 5 gallon pails are all outside FULL of sap. There is at least a week if not 2 weeks left of sap season. We are going to be busy!