By Jodi Kieliszewski
As the snow recedes and the birds return from warmer climates, all begin to yearn for spring, and there is no better way to welcome the coming of spring than tapping maple trees to make maple syrup. Heading into the woods on a pleasant yet quite cool almost spring day is always a refreshing trip for the family.
If you wonder what is involved in making maple syrup, or feel like it might be too much to take on, check out Tap My Trees. This is a small business with the sole purpose of helping you get out and enjoy the benefits of nature, specifically, maple sugaring and tapping maple trees.
Tap My Trees Maple Sugaring Kits
Tap My Trees sells maple sugaring kits complete with easy-to-follow instructions, and all the tools needed to be on your way to the sweet reward of maple syrup. We used the Starter Kit with aluminum buckets, which contained three aluminum spiles, three buckets with lids, three hooks to attach the buckets, a 7/16” drill bit, cheese cloth, and Maple Sugaring at Home, a very informative guide for the beginning maple syrup enthusiast.
Maple Tree Tapping Supplies and Equipment
Every spring we make enough syrup from the maples in our yard for personal use, so I’m no stranger to the equipment needed for tapping maple trees. I was immediately impressed with the quality and thoroughness of the Tap My Trees Starter Kit. The aluminum buckets are high quality and very sturdy. I’m sure they will afford many years of use. The second thing that impressed me was the maple sugaring guide book which covers how to tap a maple tree. It’s simple and easy to follow. It covers all the basics, from tree selection and care to collecting sap and boiling it down to other ways to use sap and syrup, and it provides a springboard for more in-depth study for those who are so inclined.
We always read aloud Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder in the evenings during maple syrup season. We also take it to heart that too much maple syrup never hurt anyone. (My absolute favorite drink is cup of hot sap out of the boiling pot. It’s not really sap anymore, but it’s not quite syrup, and it is delicious! Not far behind that is a brat cooked over an open fire in sap that reduces to a sticky sweet crunchy glaze.) Overall, this kit is an excellent and complete resource to start maple sugaring. The only things you need to provide are trees, a drill motor for tapping maple trees, and a pot to reduce the syrup in once it’s collected.
Tapping Maple Trees Can Be Part of Your Homeschool Curriculum
As a homeschooling mom of three boys, we are always looking for ways to incorporate hands-on learning and real-life application into our lessons (and it’s always a big bonus if it can include food). Making maple syrup presents so many possibilities for learning, such as the biology of trees, the boiling point of sap compared to syrup, evaporation, the origin of food, nutrition content of syrup, effects of trace minerals on the body, cooking, history, ratios, density, to name just a few. Getting outside and starting a project always piques their curiosity and leads to such a willingness to learn. Of course it doesn’t hurt that this project ends up edible and delicious! Are your homeschool students interested in nature? Check out this article on wildcrafting for another way to incorporate the outdoors into your homeschooling curriculum!
Considering everything, a Maple Syrup Starter Kit from Tap My Trees is money well spent. It’s a really convenient way to get all the necessary tools and supplies to get outdoors and spend some time with the kiddos tapping trees and making syrup.
Jodie Kieliszewski and her husband, Josh, live in Michigan, where they raise three boys, and bees. They were blessed with a swarm of bees, which flourished into their business, Bee Lovely Botanticals, LLC. They are grateful for God’s provision in such rewarding ways and look forward to sharing their passion for honeybees and the bounty of the hives at www.beelovelybotanicals.com.