Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Maple Sugaring

It's another beautiful day in Northern Illinois. Supposed to be in the 70's today. I know it will change as of tomorrow but I'll enjoy it when I can get it. The birds are in constant song now, so happy that the ground is no longer frozen & they can get those tasty worms. There is something so soothing about hearing the sound of birds when laying in bed in the morning. What a nice way to wake up.

On Sunday, we went to a local forest preserve to watch a maple sugaring demonstration. We've never seen a tree being tapped or sap flowing so it was a great learning experience. We started out by walking around, identifying trees & looking for signs of Spring. The ranger then taught everyone how to measure a tree for age & also to see if it is big enough to tap. It was nice to see so many kids there. A tree needs to be 10-20 inches in diameter for one tap, 20-25 for 2 taps & over 25, three taps.

We then walked over to a display that showed the tools that were used by the Indians & others to tap the trees & collect the sap. Next was a tree that the sap was flowing freely. We got to taste the sap, but there was only a hint of sweetness to it.

This little guy seemed to like it!

Then on to where they were cooking the sap down into syrup. It takes 40-60 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup and the energy used to boil it down. That's why it's so expensive to buy.
After the demonstration, we took a long walk around the forest preserve.

Hopefully this weekend we will be able to go up to the farm if all goes well at work. I wonder if Eli is still collecting sap? I would like to see their method. I'm also going to bring them some echinacea tincture to trade for some maple syrup & maybe some butter. I miss the farm!


PatQ said...

Do they knit? I have loads of yarn I thought I'd bring if we go. You can go through it too if you want any.

Anonymous said...

Awwww, I would miss the farm too.

The sugaring looks to be interesting!

The Blue Ridge Gal


Hot Belly Mama said...

Awesome, I would have loved to seen that.

Barb and Steve said...

Hi Pat,
I'm not sure if they do. Bring it with& we'll find out. Still not sure on the work front yet...

Suzanne said...

Pat sent me over here. My friend was at the same taking pictures and notes for me. I blogged about it here:


I've bookmarked your blog and I'll be back to read more.

Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife