It started as a hobby and is the most expensive hobby I've ever had. I have somewhere between 3,000 to 4,000 maple trees on my land. In 2015 we installed a pipeline to tap approximately 1800 and tap more every year. I built my first three sap cookers, however in 2016 I purchased a Leader Evaporator with a capacity of evaporating 300 gallons per hour. This evaporator was put into service in February 2017 after building a new shack.
Recently, I moved to Sundance, Wyoming where I sell my syrup and other items at farmer's markets and stores, returning every spring to Wisconsin for syrup season.
Maple syrup makes an excellent natural sweetener, along with the well known uses for waffles and pancakes.