Making Maple Syrup – The Pump House



Truthfully, today’s post was suppose to be all about sharing a beautiful day at our home and our sugar house.  There were to be pictures of our friends and family celebrating the launch of our new business, and learning what making maple syrup is all about.

Except there was one problem.

The darn weather.

We had our fingers crossed, we prepared, grocery shopped and had decorating plans in line.

But the one things we could not change was the weather.  It has been too cold for the sap to run yet and the one thing you really do need to make maple syrup is sap!

So, we rescheduled and we hope that in a few weeks we will have a chance to try again with better luck.

The good news however, is that the sap has started to run some and our systems are all set up and ready to go.  Of course, I sound so bold saying that – it was all Dana and he is still working crazy hard.  Fortunately, the bright glimmer is still in his eyes even if he is exhausted!

Last week, I shared about tapping the trees.  This week, I will share about our pump house.

Set right behind that pretty red barn, you will see a new structure – which I helped build!




Sunshine was so helpful and stood in front of it to give you a sense of the size.


Maple-Sugaring-Pump-House copy


Inside is a giant stainless steel tank that collects the sap for most of the trees we have tapped here (about 2,700).   Although we are on a ridge, and gravity helps a whole bunch with getting the sap to the tank, we have added a vacuum system this year as well.  This help pull the sap down through the lines to be collected.  It doesn’t do any damage to the trees as they are able to replenish their stores of sap each day.

Everything is tied to this panel which runs off a shut off/on valve based on temperature.  Since temperature is what determines when the sap will run, the system is set to turn on and off based on the temperature changes.




It is all powered and controlled by a motor.




The sap enters through these blue canisters as you see below.





Once they are filled, they empty into the stainless steel tank below.  For us, this is a very beautiful sight!




There is a pipe that runs out from the motor to another part of the property and it meets up with another blue canister.  You can see where the mainlines that run off the hill run right into here on the side.





Then it runs on a similar concept.  When the blue canister fills below, then it dumps into a holding tank.




Once the main tanks are filling, that is where our dump truck comes in.  Using a gas powered pump, it is transferred to the tank in the dump truck and brought over to the sugar house.

This part of the process is a little more technical but really cool to see.  Next week, I will share what happens when it actually gets to the sugar house.  Fingers crossed that the weather participates and doesn’t get too cold or too warm just yet!

Thanks so much for reading!

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15 thoughts on “Making Maple Syrup – The Pump House”


  1. You won’t believe it but I watched a new TV show, Battle Creek, last night that had a plot that revolved around making maple syrup!

  2. Love reading about your syrup business as we too make syrup on a much smaller scale. My husband read today’s blog entry and said “they’re fancy”! LOL Keep up the good work. I know how hard it is!

  3. I have always admired and held farmers in awe, because at the end of the day, no matter how hard you work you are still dependent on the weather. You and your family now join that group- I am learning so much!! Thanks for sharing!

  4. This week It’s going to be in the 40s here in MA. That’s darn near sweater weather, so here’s hoping the weather cooperates for you too!
    All the best!

  5. This is really cool! I sent this to my Dad. He grew up in VT and used to tell my brother, sister and I about tapping trees and making syrup. I’m sure he’s going to love this. Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. Thought about your maple syrup this weekend when I was reading the new magazine “Sift” by King Arthur flour company. They had a wonderful article and photos on the process of making syrup. Looking forward to reading more about it!

  7. This is really interesting to see Laura. I’ve been to sugar woods many times in my life but not seen how the pipe system works. Lots of folks here still tap the trees with spigot and bucket as they are small operations but the larger ones have the pipe system. Kings Landing Historical Settlement will have it’s Sugar Bush weekend the next 2 weekends so I hope to attend that and walk around the village. Since it is a historical living village they will show it as spigot and bucket method. Our weather may just be getting right this week for the sap to start running with cold nights and daytime temps at or above freezing. It may not be a good spring for sap here. We have 4 feet or more of snow in the woods still, so it may be a later season. I wish you all the best with yours and that it is a very successful harvest! Blessings. Pam

  8. So fascinating! Isn’t technology wonderful? I hope you keep sharing. I had no idea what was involved in gathering syrup, so these details are very interesting.

  9. I am enjoying learning about this process. I am surprised to see that the sap runs clear. I expected it to be amber colored. Thanks for sharing!