Maple Sugaring - The Gathering
The most strenuous part of Maple Sugaring is gathering the sap. A nearly full 5 gallon bucket weighs about 40 pounds. There were days when many of the buckets were nearly full. In fact, some trees, which we called our "Gold Star Trees" would be full to overflowing within a twenty four hour period. It is truly an amazing sight. We gathered, with a few exceptions, everyday.
Katie who tried her best to keep a log of incoming sap, reports at least 5 days where we brought home around 100 gallons of sap. Any sap that could not be boiled off in day was collected in 55 gallon food grade barrels and kept very cold with sapsicles. It is mind boggling to think of bigger producers who collect thousands of gallons of sap!
I'd like to say that we always had smiling faces while we joyfully toted and poured buckets but there are times when it just wasn't fun - like in the pouring rain. I think some lessons in perseverance were learned through all this as well as many others. I don't think a day went by where we didn't ask God to bless those who do this kind of work to sustain their family!