Tapping Maples...

Sometimes we just need a goose of inspiration to reel our sails back up and head out amidst the big vast sea.

Recently a dear friend has been grappling with a decision regarding place. Where to call home? Is it the right decision? Gut, heart, emotions...they pull us in all sorts of directions. How do we choose? How do we know? North, south, east...er was it southeast?

I say yes. Yes to decisions and yes to setting sail. It may frighten us, it may seem threatening. But...it is thrilling and exciting and we only get that butterfly gut-retching experience that one magnificent moment when we don that alarming neon-orange, coastguard approved life preserver and do it.

It is not which wind we decide to set our sails on, it is the adventures we face and experiences we undergo on our journey. All the laughter, tears and elbow grease from repairing the sails when they have been tattered to bits.

Lean in. Dig down deep. Breath out and...go.

Off we embark my friends. I've found my wind and I'm trusting it.My "urban" title will become more part-time as this little nettle is tapping back into her rural roots. I dug deep. I looked forward. I know and I'm doing it.

Our adventure begins with maple trees...enjoy the results.

Tapping Maple Trees:

Note: Trees are generally tapped in late February or early March when daytime temperature reaches 40 degrees Fahrenheit and evening temps hit 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 1: Gather necessary tools. taps (spiles), buckets, hose, drill, rubberbands. Oh and some trees! Maples, birch or boxelders will work. They all provide various degrees of sugar concentration in the syrups however. Maple trees are generally 40 gallons of sap to 1 gallon of boiled down sap (aka) syrup.

Step 2: Take your drill bit, measure off 2.5 inches and drill your hole into your tree at a sloping angle upward into the tree so that your sap will roll out of the tree. (as seen in photo below)

Step 3: Drill hole approximately 2.5 inches as indicated by your drill bit into the tree.

Step 4: Insert spile into the tree and gently tap. Remember you need to get the spile back out!

Step 5: Drill holes if necessary into the covers of your buckets so your plastic tubing can deposit the sap.

Step 6: Slip tubing onto your spile. Attach your bucket with tubing going into the bucket. Get excited about 40 degree F days and 20 degree F nights!