I mail ordered some taps from Canada. Spiles they are properly called. Stainless steel, the old fangled type that have hooks to hold buckets. Nowadays many sugaring operations use tube lines and trees are interconnected to the downhill container collecting the sap. Not for me. I have to keep things as simple and critter proof as possible. I used the method proven by my dad. It takes a spile, a short section of tubing and a milk jug for each tap. We collected just over 16 gallons of sap from the few trees we used.
All along the back of the fence line are many magnificent ancient maples. The sap flowed well for a couple of weeks. I watched the weather for days above freezing and nights below freezing. The tell-tale was the sap weeping from new woodpecker holes in the bark of the maple trees. It was time to tap.
We knew we were not going to make a commercial effort at maple syrup production. Most small farm efforts are best served by staying small. We saved up 16 gallons of sap and began to reduce it down. It took most of a weekend and probably far more stove gas than I care to account for. But, the result was a quart of the finest tasting, but dark grade of maple syrup. It is a fine treat for the children (and adults), whom are on their third maple syrup and pancake breakfast with this batch. It is a fleeting sweet indulgence, in the most improbable of locations.