I'm not known as very handy but I am learning to be more so, because often it just seems I need to be. As January was kicking in I thought back to last maple season. I was just tapping one tree a year ago, our sugar maple in the backyard. Although we had some big weeks where I collected 15 plus gallons it could all fit in an emptied-out fridge in the basement. Last month though, doing some math made me quickly realize we could easily have 50, 100 or more gallons of sap in a week. And temperatures in Philly can be pretty warm even for a week or more in late January or February. So, I built a walk-in fridge. For me, this was a big deal. It required doing things have never done, to be handy. With a lot of help from my kids, it took me a week or so doing it a couple of hours at a time. I tested it out and it worked great, I could get the temperature in the walk-in to under 38 degrees in under 20 mins. And...so far, it's been completely unnecessary. Not only has it been very cold here but with all the storms I can just pack the sap buckets in mounds of snow. One day it will be useful, maybe if I take up work as a florist or farmer?
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