We’ve been tapping our sugar maple trees and making syrup for the past 6 years. We started with a stock pot over a flame, progressed to a homemade barrel evaporator and have finally settled into our permanent maple syrup home with the build of a sugar shack.
There is something magical and satisfying about making maple syrup. It can’t be rushed, it can happen for only a few weeks during the year, and over many, many years not much has changed about the process of making syrup.
Once we realized that this was something that we really, really enjoyed doing, we started to think about purchasing a larger, permanent evaporator (where the sap is boiled down). Naturally, this got us thinking about where to store the evaporator, which got us thinking how much we would love a sugar shack. See how easily we are lead from one small thing to a much bigger thing??? It happens to us all the time!
Bryce did research into building it from scratch, buying it already pre-made or buying a kit and building it himself. He ultimately landed on buying a kit and he and Harris (along with some help from Bill, my brother-in-law) built it from the ground up. We placed it right at the end of our line of maple trees (known as a sugar bush since it’s what we use to tap for syrup). The maple trees were clearly planted, perhaps meant as a nursery row, as they are in an allee type of formation.
Here, the evaporator has found a permanent home*, and it’s such a cozy place to spend a winters day! Friends will often come over to spend a few hours watching the process, having a beer and hanging out! We love it and look forward to it every single year!
*During the non sugaring season, we store our beekeeping supplies in the shed and dry all the lavender and other flowers by hanging them from the rafters.