Our first run of the season came very early for us! Our 800 gallon holding tank was nearly half full of sap this morning. We finished the last little cleaning jobs we needed to do yesterday and the boys fired up the evaporator this morning. The first boil of the season always feels a bit unproductive. It takes a lot of boiling to get the sap in the evaporator concentrated to the point of being syrup. Sometimes you boil all day and never get to that point. But it's only like that at the very beginning of the season. In maple syrup language it's called "sweetening the pan". Once you get the sap concentrated in the evaporator, you just continuously add a small amount of sap at a time and draw off a small amount of syrup, starting and stopping the process as necessary throughout the season. (That's a very simplified version, but that's it in a nutshell.)
We have a big snowstorm tomorrow, and then days of cold weather, so things are going to shut back down for a while, but it is a start!