Queen of the maple tree sap… it’s a work-in-progress title

Hello World! The last few days have been killer at work so you’d think I’d be smart and pass out for the night, but I’m so excited to tell you about my weekend, which started by us collecting sap. Yes, sap. So so so very cool.

I always wanted to put a tap in a maple tree, hang a bucket, collect some sap, and sample some homemade syrup but I figured I’d have to go all the way up to some far off farm in Vermont for it to happen when lo and behold ctbites had a post about Ambler Farm, a 200-year-old working farm in Wilton, CT that involves the community in its year-round activities INCLUDING collecting sap. I was sold! The premise is that you buy (or more accurately, rent) a tree for the season. The season starts with an introductory class that gives you the history of maple syruping (clearly making up terms as I go along) and a bucket. You find a tree, hang your bucket, and wait for the magic to begin. Then once a week (or more if you’d like), you go to pick up the sap that your bucket collected and dump it in the community collector bin and the staff (read: the farmer, his family and volunteers that get paid in dinners (so cute!)) makes it into syrup.

The day of our introductory class and tree picking was the day after Blizzard Nemo, which was actually fantastic because we got all dressed up in snow pants and went traipsing through waist high snow, or ankle deep snow until I totally walked off what was apparently a wall and found myself covered.

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I think one of the spring events at the farm includes sheep shearing. Of course Ryan had to go pet them.

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Time to pick our buckets!

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So awesome! I may or may not have sampled some sap right out of the tree.

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Come on bucket 64!

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One week later…. we heard they had to empty the buckets on Thursday because there was so much accumulation, so this was only 2 days worth of sap. Pretty awesome. The reason I knew about the buckets being emptied earlier than expected is because Farmer Kevin writes us emails about the sap. He is so excited about it that it’s totally contagious I was in a boring meeting at work today and saw I had an email from him and it totally brightened my day.

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The collection vats.

The staff was cooking batches of maple syrup when we showed up to drop off our bucket so we got to see the machine working AND sample some of the syrup right out of the vat. Oh my gosh I’ve never tasted anything so good!

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