The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Tapping birches with goats

Tree tapping with goat

Despite the initial dripping when we tapped a black birch Monday, it turns out the first week of March is too early for significant accumulation after all. Four days later, we'd only racked up a quarter of a cup of frozen sap --- no wonder since the daytime highs have only Sap bucket with lidbeen reaching the low forties.

With another warming trend on the horizon, I'm hopeful we'll get more sap soon. There are half a dozen sizable birches in that same area, actually, so the tricky part will be deciding whether I want to tap them all or keep our project on the fun, hobby level.

Of course, since I can take the goats out with me to both tap and collect sap, the fun quotient may well remain high even if I tap all half dozen. Every project is more fun with goats.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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How is your syrup season coming along? Are your taps still in and sap still flowing?
Comment by Jake Mon Apr 4 00:21:51 2016
It's been a weird syrup year. I think we might have actually tapped too late to get the main flow even though we tapped considerably earlier than the year before. I got about half a cup a day for a few days --- enough to drink but not to bother carting home. Then it descended down to a dribble. I guess we'll finally pull the tap and plug the hole and call it a failure. :-/
Comment by anna Mon Apr 4 12:58:47 2016

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