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Boiling Maple Sap Into Syrup & Restoring An Old Macbook For Work

Its all hands on deck this week with the maple sap flowing like water faucets from the trees now. We are into late February and the maple trees are waking up. The 70 taps that I have out there are producing heavily.


Chris is here boiling the sap down for me each day. He works all day out in the sugar shack boiling down the sap and feeding the fire. I spend my time running around hauling sap from the trees to the sugar shack. We got about 140 gallons of sap on this day. Literally all of the one gallon jugs are overflowing. They topped off twice in one single day.


We are only able to boil a small fraction of that sap in a single day at this point. So I am working on making another maple sap boiling system using a 55 gallon drum and some flat stainless steel trays. This will double our production capabilities.


Homemade maple syrup boiler using old wood stove


We also have some maple sap boiling off inside the off grid tiny house on wheels. We put a long flat stainless steel pan on the wood stove and filled it with two gallons of maple sap straight from the trees. We keep this filled up at all times now. We have been boiling off water into the air to increase the humidity all winter anyway. I figure why waste water when we need to boil off sap to make syrup. So this is a dual purpose setup for us and it works well.




We are boiling off about 2 to 3 gallons of maple sap per day on the tiny house wood stove. I figure about ten days of this and we will have a full gallon of maple syrup from the wood stove alone. Its sort of cool.


Out in the sugar shack Chris keeps the fire going full blast all day. I help pour the raw maple water from the five gallon pails into the boiler as needed. Chris is not strong enough to lift the pails that high. Together we are working full time on this and we still need more help.


In between running sap from the trees, boiling and cutting fire wood I am taking warm up breaks inside the off grid tiny house on wheels. Well, its not breaks really. I am working on refurbishing an old Apple MacBook Pro that I got for free. Its a 2006 or 08 laptop. It needed a power supply which I got a couple months back on Amazon.


I recently got the update software from the apple store - Snow Leopard. It only cost $20, which was a surprise. I installed that package and then the computer rebooted. Then I checked for more updates and the laptop installed yet another free software update, taking me to an even newer operating system. I kept this up until there were no more updates available.


Now the MacBook Pro is able to run with the big boys. I can use it for pretty much anything online now. It still needs some memory and a battery. The RAM upgrade will double its operating speed since it currently only has two GB of RAM. But with the software it runs, this will be fine.

I downloaded my favorite image editing package GIMP which is free and open source. I have used this for many years on all my computers. It is like Photoshop but free.


I am able to work on my YouTube videos and my website articles now on the MacBook Pro. It is very slow at editing videos though so I may end up using the newer laptop for that purpose. But the newer laptop, although only a year old, is dying slowly. The computers these days are only made to last just past the guaranty date and then slowly start to fade away. The old Mac though is still going strong.


You can watch today's video here: Making Maple Syrup ~ Renewing An Old Macbook Pro


While you are over there please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow our daily videos as we strive to become self sufficient and off the grid on a budget.

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Troy Reid


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