On Sunday, February 18th, at 2 pm; we, (The Homegrown String Band), will be bringing our unique brand of acoustic American music and dance to the Connetquot Public Library in Bohemia, New York. The show is free and open to the public. Come on down and help us celebrate 21 years of performing our old, new, borrowed, and blue, high energy American roots music.
"The Family That Plays Together" - photo by Steve Gravano
Wed. Jan. 31, 2018 - Day 1, Year 6:
I tapped seven trees last Wednesday January 24th, the earliest I've ever started my backyard sugaring. Today, one week later, I started boiling. This was not only the earliest I've boiled but also the coldest day I've spent hunched over my homemade evaporator. I brought three buckets of, mostly frozen, sap inside the night before so I would have some warm liquid to start with. I started the fire at 7am, (the air temperature was 18 degrees) by 7:30 I had a good boil and by 4:30 I had boiled 30 gallons of sap down to 2 1/2 quarts of syrup.
Tues. Feb. 6, 2018 - Day 2, Year 6:
A little warmer today, but not much. 23 degrees at 6:45 am, high for the day was around 32. It started snowing around 10 am so I threw up a pop up canopy over my evaporator; a real home, not too far away, from home. I boiled 30 gallons of sap in 10 1/2 hours. The yield was 2 quarts plus 1 cup of syrup. I'm really tired right now.
Tues. Feb 13, 2018 Day 3, Year 6:
I collected 40 gallons of sap over the past week. I boiled down 30 gallons today in about 11 hours. The yield was 2 1/2 quarts of syrup. I still have about 10 gallons plus whatever is in my buckets, maybe another 5 or 6 gallons, but very little wood left, so unless I scrounge up a pile of wood in the next few days, I'll be done for this year. Total for the year; 90 gallons of sap boiled, over 31 hours, for 7 1/4 quarts of syrup.
Thurs. Feb 15, 2018 Day 4, Year:
I picked up some good sized oak branches the power company left along the roadside last summer. They had been lying on the ground throughout the fall and winter, so they were fairly wet. I cut them up, split the bigger ones, and stripped the bark and wet sap wood. Once I had a hot fire going I warmed them up around the edges of my evaporator. It took a couple hours to get a strong boil, but I managed to cook up another 2 quarts plus a cup of syrup over another ten hour day. I'm done. Nine and a half quarts of syrup, 120 gallons of sap, and 41 hours of boiling.