I am so excited about this review this Starter Kit with Aluminum Buckets from Tap My Trees. have always thought that tapping trees and making maple syrup always looked interesting, so when we had the option to do a review for Tap My Trees, I jumped at the chance.
3 - Aluminum 3 Gallon Buckets
3 - Metal Lids
3 - Spiles (explained later)
3 - Hooks
1 - Maple Sugaring At Home Book
1 - Drill Bit 7/16
1 - Cheesecloth
The very first thing we did was read through the book. It is about 44 pages long, so you could even if read it aloud with your children over a couple of days. If you have older children you can assign them to read the book. The book covers each step of the Maple Sugaring Process. One of the most important steps of course is making sure you have a maple tree in your yard or perhaps in a friend or family members yard that you can use. You will learn the best time to tap your tree, how to tap the tree and of course the steps to follow for turning it into syrup. There are plenty of black and white illustrations for those who like seeing what they are describing.
Now, once you have chosen your tree and the season is right, you will clean all your buckets, metal lids and spiles. I really appreciate them including the correct size drill bit as well as everything else. After drilling your holes (read the book to learn more), you insert the spiles. I told you above that these would be explained. They are the metal spouts you insert into the tree. After these are in place, there are hooks that attach to the spiles to hold the buckets. The lids of course are placed over your buckets to prevent unwanted things from ending up floating in your sap. You definitely do not want rain, snow, bugs, or branches ending up in your bucket with the sap. The cheesecloth is used for straining your sap when you transfer it from the bucket to a secondary container before boiling. These are not complete instructions, but give you an idea of what must be done. (Don't want to ruin the book.)
The book continues with collecting the sap, making maple syrup and such. They also include other uses for the sap. For instance, some people drink the sap. Not exactly something I want to try, but I have a feeling my children will. There are pages at the back for drawing a map of the trees in your yard, as well as keeping notes.
We are going to try using trees in a friends yard. He lives on the edge of a state park and has many more trees in his yard than we do. Yes, the trees are his, not ones the state park owns. We only have a few trees in our yard period. We will probably not be able to try this until mid-February.
Since I have never tapped trees before, this is just my opinion, but the equipment sent looks very well made. The book is informative and from reading it, I believe we will be able to follow through on tapping some trees and collecting the sap. I believe teenagers would be able to do most of this with adult supervision for the drilling of the trees.
This kit would make a great homeschool project. You can use it as a science project, or, you just might like to attempt this for fun! Plan it as a family event even.
Tap My Trees has other kits and supplies available, so be sure to visit their website. There is also a lot of other tree tapping and maple sugaring information found on the website. The FAQ list will answer some of the commonly asked questions.
Take a moment to click on the link below to see what other Crew members had to say.