Here’s the maple tree that tried to kill me.
It doesn’t look that devious, does it? IT IS. That slope going up to the tree is really slippery. Trying to get a toehold on that slope and manage a bucket at the same time wasn’t working very well for me, so Adam switched to a plastic gallon jug on this tree for me.
There’s a hole in the side of it near the top and it slips right onto the pipe to collect the sap. I have two of these jugs so when I pick one up, I just replace it with the empty one.
Not that anything helps me much. I fell down again, this time on my knee (which, believe me, is better), then crossing the creek with the other buckets from the other tree and the gallon jug, my boot got sucked off my foot and I stepped in the creek in my sock.
There’s a lot of stupidness involved in maple syrup. Apparently. At least if you’re me. And yet, the syrup is so delicious, it’s impossible to resist! This is going to be a really good week for the sap to run with the perfect temperatures, so by the end of the week, I should have a black eye and a broken leg!
Getting hurt making maple syrup is a really good excuse, though. Need a mental health day off work this week? Try telling your boss, “I got hurt making maple syrup!” Everybody believes that one–it’s too stupid to not be true! I used it to get out of the first day of my food safety for food managers class last week. Of course, for me, it was actually true, but I’ll let you borrow it! (Got my score back–I got a 91 on the test! See, I didn’t need that first day anyway. Ha.)
Not sure yet how much syrup I’ll end up with. I only have three taps in two trees. I didn’t want to be overly optimistic on my syrup-making capacity the first time I tried it. The week I took off because the maple tree tried to kill me, it was pretty cold so the sap wasn’t running that much that week anyway. Right now, I’m up to four pints of finished syrup. It’s like 40 or 50 to 1 ratio from sap to syrup, so that’s still a lot of sap I’ve handled. This should be a good week. I’ll make syrup as long as the sap runs, might have a couple good weeks left.
I’m intrigued by the idea of tapping other trees for syrup, and talked to Adam about tapping a couple of black walnut trees on my farm next year.
If I’m not dead by then.
SUSPICIOUS DEATH ASSOCIATED WITH SYRUP SEASON
A farmer in Roane County was found dead near a maple tree in the woods behind her fields. Her 17-year-old daughter discovered the body when she got hungry and went looking for that person who makes the pizza. Several sheep, goats, horses, and chickens were interviewed in the investigation. One of the horses, a short one, claimed to never get near the woman and didn’t even know her name. Several hens noted that the only one they knew that actually liked the woman was a large blue goose who was known for attacking upright objects and had been seen following the woman.
The goose is considered a person of interest in the case, and when officers can get him unwrapped from a pole in front of the woman’s barn, he is expected to be taken into custody. The tree is also being questioned.