DIY Canadian farm-style, or "what I did this weekend."
First, you pack about ten people into the back of a pickup truck...
...and walk through the fields...
...to empty the buckets on the trees, spiles having been drilled previously.
Back home, you cook in the ancient, homemade sap cooker (which was once an oil drum, long ago).
Sometimes, you need to feed the fire. Make sure to keep adding sap when the level gets low, or when the pans threaten to boil over (overzealous fire feeders!).
If you're bored, you could always go exploring and fall through the ice on the half-frozen flooded field.
Late afternoon is the best time to take advantage of the fact that boiling liquid kills bacteria, by sampling straight from the pans--with the same spoon. By now the sap's thick enough to actually taste good.
The day's cooking is done when the sap's about 60% sugar. (Damn, I don't have a picture of the sugar-measuring gizmo.) The sap pans are unloaded...
...into pots, to be brought inside and finished on the stove to 66% sugar. A more controlled environment, to prevent accidental burning/overcooking/sludgification. Which would be a Bad Thing.
A fun weekend. It's something I do just about every year (the farm belongs to my grandparents), but this year I managed to drag a couple friends along to slave have fun.