If you’re wondering how to tap birch trees to evaporate the sap into birch syrup, it’s probably best to ask the Alaskans. (Free podcast idea: “Ask the Alaskans.”) They don’t have many maples, but they’ve got plenty of birch trees, and the birch syrup industry is booming. If you’re looking
A small-scale maple sugaring operation like ours—basically, backyard maple sugaring—doesn’t use vacuum pressure to collect maple sap. Good old-fashioned gravity is our method of choice. There’s two methods to consider when deciding how you want to collect sap from your maple trees. First, there’s the picture postcard method: tap a
February in Vermont has gotten a bit slushy and a tad icy with the freeze-thaw cycles of the last couple of weeks. Lucky for us that means it’s time for tapping (some of) our maple trees. In total we’ll have 21 taps this season, up a couple from last year.
We made this basic and cheap maple syrup evaporator for less than $50, and it took less than an afternoon to put together. So you can file it under “cheap” and “easy” — but you can also file it under “effective.” We used it to boil down a season’s worth
I’ve now built two rustic standing desks for a couple of Annie’s colleagues. There are supposedly health benefits to a standing desk and there are plenty of “hacks” to give yourself a standing desk equivalent. But shouldn’t it look good, too? This simple rustic standing desk design is easy and
A good set of sawhorses is indispensible. Somehow, though, we made it through summer working on sawhorses that are old, rickety, and too short. Now that we’ve built these cheap, rock solid, and simple sawhorses, we’re wondering why we insisted on suffering for so long. This post is short because
We’d spent 12 hours on a Saturday in April leveling the site, laying the cinder blocks, and building the frame for the yurt platform. (If you didn’t read the first post on this, check it out here.) Our task for Sunday, our second and final build day, was simple —
Sure, a yurt could sit on the ground, but Vermont gets cold! So on a weekend in April we built a round, raised platform (20′ diameter), insulated it, and then installed tongue & groove pine flooring (for what would become the interior of our home). This is the first of several