Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sugaring adventure

This is the time of year when those that make maple syrup are at their busiest.  For it's this time of the year that the sap starts to run from the roots to the rest of the tree in preparation for Spring.  As we go through an absurd amount of real maple syrup around here, I was curious to see sugaring done in person, hoping that maybe it would be something that I could take up to help offest our huge maple syrup bills!  I know, it's crazy, but here at the Bach Haus we love our pancakes!

So, last weekend, one of our local Columbus Metro Parks (Slate Run Historical Farm, link here) was having a program on sugaring.....and the conditions were perfect for the sap to run.  We're there!

The first thing you need to have in order to make maple syrup is the right maple tree - the sugar maple tree is the best tree for syrup because the sap is sweeter than others.  You can use other maples, but they're not as sweet, so you'll need more sap to boil down to make the syrup.  It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup, so having a bunch of trees is best.  Unfortunately, we only have one red maple in our yard - and that couldn't possibly keep up with our demand!

Anyway, we learned how to identify sugar maples from other maples, and took a little walk out to the sugarbush (a bunch of sugar maple trees in the same area).  We saw a tube-system set up for sap collection & also saw buckets attached to the trees.  Now I know why it's best to have all your trees in one area - because during sugaring time, you need to check your buckets daily & transport all that sap to your boiling location.

Here's Little Dude & my DH getting sap right from the tree - it tasted like sweet water:

So, the verdict is that since we have no sugarbush & unless we find a "Rent-A-Sugarbush" we'll be buying our syrup at the store as always.  But maybe someday, we'll have a nice bit of land with hopefully a great selection of mature sugar maples.

Anyway, since we were at the farm, we visited all the farm animals.  We usually don't make it our there in the Winter, so it was neat to be there at a different time of year.

All 3 Bachsters slept the entire way home.

Have you done any fun outdoor activities in these last weeks of Winter?


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