Sap: Substance Amazingly Precious

{sap07} Maple sap lineup. Sweet-water on the right, sap concentrate in the middle, and two batches of real syrup on the leftMaple sap is really amazing stuff. It is one of the only natural sources of truly pure drinking water. With a sugar content of between 2% and 3%, the sap is very useful in at least three different ways.

{sap07} Just before boiling down.First, we found that sap is an excellent drink just strait from the tree. We call it “sweet-water”. Bringing it in from outside, we strained out any dirt or bark, stuck it in the refrigerator, and served it for the next meal. It is not only cool and refreshing but healthy and sweet!

{sap07} Jonathan keeps the process going.A second way we used it was for cooking. We just boiled 1 gallon of sap down to two quarts to make “sap-concentrate”. The sugar content is much higher so it is too sweet for drinking but perfect for replacing the water when cooking oatmeal or wheat-berries. No other sweetener like honey or brown-sugar is needed.

{sap07} Three faithful pans.Then we made real maple syrup! Using three large pans on the stove, we kept the fire on all day, boiling down 2 gallons of sap per hour. By the end of the day, we had boiled down about 15 gallons of sap to 2 quarts of syrup. We did this on several different days and canned a total of two gallons of syrup. It took a lot of patience and diligence but with everyone tapping in to help and volunteering to watch the boiling sap for awhile, we can look forward to enjoying this sweet delicacy for months to come!

{sap07} An abundance of a precious substance.Proverbs 12:17 rang true in our household as we labored away: “The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.”


  1. Robert April 6, 2007 at 4:01 am #

    Great report, James! Pure maple sap is like nature’s Gatorade, cool and refreshing and a little bit sweet. I wasn’t here to join in the syrup-making fun but I have sure enjoyed the results of everyone’s hard work!

  2. nadia April 6, 2007 at 1:04 pm #

    I don’t know if you will accept my comments.
    If you do and you decide to move it to the right page on this site please do. I’m so impressed with your site. Very nice family.
    I was browsing the internet for wheat grinder and some how i ended up on your site.
    god bless and keep up the good life :).

  3. Michael April 8, 2007 at 11:24 am #

    I was surprised that the 30 to 1 ratio, that is, boiling 15 gallons of sap to 1/2 gallon of syrup, made such very thick syrup. It is often expected to be 40 gallons of sap per gallon of syrup. We seem to be blessed with some very sweet trees! Personally, I think I will be benefitted a lot more by having two gallons of superior drinking water, than by having a cup of syrup, and it seems wasteful to “throw away” all those gallons of pure water in the boiling process, so I greatly enjoyed being able to drink the sap through the tree-tapping time. It was very rewarding. Thank you James for your initiative and hard work!

  4. chad April 9, 2007 at 9:53 am #

    It’s that time of year!! Appreciate seeing your diligence as a family as you work together. Our familiy has also greatly enjoyed the benefits of the maple tree. Enjoy..!!

  5. Joshua April 10, 2007 at 7:55 am #

    Yum! That sap concentrate with a little oatmeal sounds like an exquisite breakfast. How amazing the many uses for a simple substance. I wonder how many more there are. Reminds me of the peanut and sweet potato.


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