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Maple Sugar

Maple Sugar image
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The maplo silgar season is just üpoti H, Alvvays important as il is, this year it is moro so (han ever. The high prieeol cape silgar makee t a costly luxury to beindulged in eparingly. Moreover, it will do us northerners no hai m to bo thrown a little rnore Üpon our oivn resources. WUh the nwple-tTMl and the sorghurn plant, we gball got along quite cornfortabh'. The "sugar-bush" snould ahvays bo secure])7 feneed in ; it is a groat anno)'ano to have ono's buekets visite-d by roving eaitle during the oight, 'I 'lic npparatus usod may be of the rudeat kind - tho " buukots" mere biocka of wood'dug out vi;h an ax, ihe snp boiled down in kettlës hungon a cressbar in the open woods - but then, the niolasses and sugar vvill be rude, too. We can oasily do bet ter than that. Firet - the convenienco of boiling down. Büild an " arch" (an " arch " in Bllgar boiler's phrase means simply brick or stone-vvork to support boilers kettles or pajas) of brick and laortar, in size eorrespondiog to the extent ol the bush. On this, large pans are lo ba set tor evaporating. Two or three cross-bars pf iron are to be laid across the opening, to prevent the paus from sagging down, The pane should stand exaotly level. Any tinner c:m make the pane, using Ruesia iron, two sheots i itd togetber with sides 5 or C indios deep turned ovoi wiic, and provided with bandles. Whon more than one pan is used they should be set on the same arch, each as muoh aj its iran depth hipher tlian the other, so thal the sap can bo drawn, if desired, tbrough faucets, froaa ttie bigh#et ioto thelowest. H tliis arch is umier a large shed,it vvill contributc'i to the éornloft and cleanlinèss of the work. Próvido good dry woótí. For tapping the trees, use an auger to 3-4 inch size, and bore holes irom au inch to one and a half inches deep merely cutting through tlie bark and sap wood. ATdeeper hole strikes into the heart-wood and begets deuay. By tapping three or four feet above the ground, the sap is kept quite free from flving leaves and dirt. Various kinds of spouts are used. Those made of tin or sheet, iron are in high iavor with some. They áreabout two inches vvide and eix inches long, rounded up eaves-trough fashion, and one end sharpened wilh a file, or on a grind stone. It is then ririven into the bark jtist below the at:ger hole, using a wooden mallet for driving, to avoid battering it. Üthers preler ivooden spouts, made of pino or hard wood. Bnckets are sometimos made of tin, others of pino, and others of oedar, the woodeu ones being hooped with 'tfyn or ash, and pninied. TIusö are suspended either on the end of the s]iout (bad practiee), or tipon a large nail or hook diiven into the tree. For eollecting sap, some still practicecarrying the buckels by hard to the kettíes or pans : noine c nduct it by shalknv trougba to a large reservoir at the center of the bus-h. Others collect the sap by pailfulls ; in a eaek or vat drawn upon a t-led or stone-boat. Svgarivg off. - This is an easy process. When tho sap is boiled down to a syrup, strain it through a clean flannel strainer into a rnediurn size.d oanldion, and boil it until it grunulales. If leaves, pieces of bark, ashes, flies, or lirt of any kind has fallen into the sap, t must be clarilied. This can be lone by using milk, or Baleratus und he whites of eggs. A good recipe is i half tea-cup ful! of new milk to every i:i:lt ui of syrup. Then boil slowly and stir well together, skimming (-ff the ceum wliich vvill slovvly rise to the sur 'ace. This dono, and the syrup beipg found " dry" enough (by tasting a little in a sauctr) to inake into fnttiis, )our it nto tin molde of any conveuient üize or forin, and when oud, lay the eaken upmdo down to prevent prema-turo draíning. At the leisure moment, lay the cakee on their edges ! with disneti ondernefltll to catcli the iruimngs. Tho cakes wil! soon harJen. A practica 01 tnpping maples wiih the ax, hatchet and guge, is in gome eotions alarmingly prevalent, lt is sertbifl ruin to any majle grove, and the price of uyai at the present time gfaould convinco farmers oí the greul vulue of h good ligar lim-h. In u ■econt letter to the_ Agriculiurigt, a 'armer of' Florence, Ohiu, writeis, leMbïing this wasto, and describes the uoniroon " tup" uwed by bimeeli and others. Here 3 bis descriplion : ' Take first qualily straiglit .;iiincd, ,nch pine bpara, cut them in fooi engths, and ïplït tliom up into one ach stjuare piecei, 'l'wo inches trom one end Eciw l;ul!-way tlirough, and Bpüt ofi the ten-inch pieoe. Uure a quarter inch hole into (he tai effgtfiwaye oftho tap, aifl a' a , ÍVom tho hole to tho : In the absence of a viso, to bold the stick to prevent Hplitlinj bura the hole out . withahot in n. To fit" (hem, Uure a 3-4 inch hole ki a hard wood block, and whittle down the square ends of' the tape, juut to fit, but not to enter it. When driven iuto trees, they should hold fust when int-erted an eight to a quarter inch only ; if driven in deepèr, they cut off in part, the flow of sap. It is a good practica to deepen the holes in the tree by eeveral eucceasive borings during tho sap season, in order thue to olear out thu inold, and keep the holes sweet and pure; but never sink a hole deepor than two inches ; no jncreasod flow of 6ap s gained. A three-qunrter inch hole will often close up alinost entirely m one spason. - American Agriculturist.


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Michigan Argus