Farmer Rob, Intern Virginia and I spent the morning collecting sap the old fashioned way, but with several modern advantages. As in days of yore, we checked and emptied each galvanized steel bucket one at a time. But we emptied the buckets into a large plastic reservoir sitting on the back of a motorized cart.
After the last bucket was emptied and rehung on the side of a maple tree, the reservoir told us we had gathered more than 150 gallons of sap. Once boiled, this should be good for about four gallons of maple syrup.
Of course, boiling sap into syrup might be overrated. As I try to do each year, I drank some pure, ice cold sap straight from one of the buckets. It was slightly sweet, extremely refreshing, and I don’t think I swallowed any bugs this time.