Friday, 3 April 2015

Sugaring in Saskatchewan

When we planted trees on our acreage the year we had our house moved here, I purchased and planted over 100 Manitoba Maple trees with the intention that my sons could one day tap them and have a source of syrup, if they choose. Then this winter my brother mentioned he didn't think maple trees ran sap in our climate, so we discussed that possibility and he decided we should tap the maple trees at our parents' farm to find out.

A week ago my brother noticed sap leaking from where two limbs were removed from my mom's big old maple tree on her lawn. The following morning we tapped 21 of the maples in her hedge row using stainless steel tubing my brother had on hand. Although we only collected approximately 8 gallons of sap we wanted to boil it up before it spoiled.

There is A LOT of contradicting information online regarding maple sugaring. I recommend you do your research ahead of time using trusted sources (what makes for good photography on pinterest and some blogs may not be sound advice) and, if you have access to maple trees, give it a try. We only tapped about half of the trees available to us--next year we plan to tap all of the maples and purchase some spiles and a hydrometer if we can find them. Our product turned out a bit cloudy but tastes wonderful and the kids absolutely loved the experience of helping tap the trees, collect the sap, and participate in the boiling.

We ended up with about a pint of syrup this year so far--perhaps some might say that is not worth the effort and resources. For us, having the kids up and dressed and out in the fresh air every morning to do their "job" was wonderful and they are extremely proud of the part they played in making the the syrup. But, as my 5 year old pointed out, it's all thanks to the trees ;)


  1. I like the idea of planting maple trees for your sons....and loved the last sentence of wisdom from your son.

    1. Thank you, Meggie. The idea of the trees being here after I'm gone is sad but also a comfort. I want my boys to know that as long as they have land they can take care of themselves. It's important to me that they learn the skills necessary to provide food for themselves and others. And, yes, my 5 year old is wise indeed. I learn from him everyday :) thanks so much for reading and leaving a comment!