The following post has absolutely nothing to do with any of the topics I normally write about; you may skip it if you wish, but if you do you will automatically be nominated for the position of President of the No Fun Club.
If you happen to live in a suitable climate it's incredibly easy to create your own maple syrup (providing you have some sugar maples, that is). You may say, "So what?" If so, you're probably jealous. You can buy plastic taps for less than $2 each; gallon jugs of spring water cost less than a dollar and, after you drink the water, make excellent sap buckets. Last year we got between 2-3 gallons of syrup from 18 trees. We tapped 17 trees today, and expect to tap a few more (after we drink a few more jugs of water). It helps if you have kids to collect the sap. We discovered that boiling down the sap indoors set off the smoke alarms, so we switched to an electric roaster out on the porch. It was slow, but it got the job done.
I'll report back once we have some actual syrup. Meanwhile, here's a photo of our first Sap Collection System of the year: