Collecting the sap
Originally, sap was collected by hanging buckets from wooden spouts inserted into holes bored into tree trunks. The sap was transferred into larger holding vessels and transported by horse-drawn sleds or wagons to a central point, where it was boiled down to the correct consistency.
Sometimes sap was boiled over a fire built outside, though some people built shelters called sugar shacks.
There have been many changes in technology over the years. Metal buckets and plastic bags replaced the wooden buckets. Evaporators replaced fires as a more efficient way of concentrating sap into maple syrup. Filtration was added to prevent syrup contamination
Today, Mackinac Bluffs Maple Farms uses plastic tubing and vacuum pumps to bring the sap directly into the ‘Sugar House’ during sugaring season.