The first boil is over, and with its conclusion, we made South Hill Forest Products history. The boil, which took 103 hours, was nearly twice as long as the previous record length boil. Over the course of my shifts at the sugar bush, I learned about and practiced the jobs required to keep a maple syrup boil running. There was the wood chopping, the fire tending, the sap filtering and of course, the morale boosting.
The biggest lesson for me, however, was seeing the dedication of the students to this process. It takes a lot of care and a lot of consideration to boil sap down into maple syrup and those things were never lacking. Some spent hours upon hours at the boil and some even nights upon nights there. As the boil went on, the students got less sleep and more dirty, but they never stopped working to make that delicious maple syrup.
It’s hard visualize this level of dedication without seeing it for yourself – I certainly was not expecting it. When you try our maple syrup, appreciate its taste of course, but also consider the hard work put into it and it’ll taste even better. Stay tuned for more information about the boiling process and the bottling of the first maple syrup of the season!