I have been making maple syrup and am quite looking forward to this season (2014). On my property, in addition to a large maple forest, I have an old barn that was built decades ago – well before my ownership of the last 27 years.
In this barn, I have raised pigs, and I have raised chickens. (There is nothing like fresh farm eggs!) This particular barn has been idle for quite some time now, but I have decided to save it from falling into the ground and it is going to become my sugar shack. This is what my pig barn looks like now, but soon it is going to be a complete maple sugar operation.
First, I will jack up the building, support it with steel I-beam and re-build a foundation underneath it. Then straighten the walls. Next the windows and doors will have to be addressed – I don’t think I will go to the expense of putting in windows, I kind of like the way the building has its’ 100+ years of character……and besides, a sugar shack shouldn’t be airtight. In fact, a sugar shack needs a lot of ventilation. There’s alot of evaporation that happens in the maple syrup production process. I was advised, when I first started, to NOT boil the sap inside my kitchen because the kitchen walls (and everything in the kitchen) ends up with a sugary coating.
I know I can’t get this project complete before this season, this has been a long, cold winter, with an over-abundance of snow delivery this year! But I can got it worked on over the summer months and have it ready for the 2015 season.
My new evaporator is going to have it’s first season outside. We have manufactured three of these evaporators.