The ratio is 40 gallons of sap per 1 gallon of maple syrup--and so the third graders had their work cut out for them this afternoon, hand-drilling maple trees they'd marked in the fall (when the leaves were still visible!), hammering spiles (spouts), and connecting buckets and tubing. The students were kind enough to share some of the science involved--that the south-facing side of the tree gets the most sun (warmth), and is therefore the best place to tap; also, the trees are not harmed in the tapping process. They're used to it, as evidenced by some local woodpeckers' attempts higher up the trunk (they're looking for bugs, not quite as tasty on pancakes). After a few weeks, the buckets should hold enough sap to boil down. No doubt the sweetest maple syrup is the one you make yourself!