Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sugar Rush

Do you know what this is?

If so, then you know a little bit about the adventure we had this weekend.

I've already confessed that I love exploring and trying new things and finding new experiences for my boys. So when I heard someone at work mention the Maple Syrup Festival at a nature center near us, it sounded exactly like something we would enjoy.

We drove through the frosty, frozen morning to the nature center to enjoy pancakes and sausages right off the griddle and, of course, plenty of real maple syrup.

But we weren't there just to eat it.

We were there to see how maple syrup is made.

It turns out the weather right now is perfect maple syrup-ing weather - below freezing at night, above freezing at day.

The boys saw how maple syrup was made by Native Americans, and then by pioneers, and how it is gathered now.

They tried their hand at drilling holes and carrying buckets of syrup.

But we weren't content to let the adventure end there. See, we have a giant maple tree in our front yard.We talked some of the volunteers at the festival to see if it might be feasible to try this at home.

Turns out it is!

So, we brought one of these home.

Know what it is now? It's a spile, obviously!

With a little trepidation (since I don't want to hurt our beautiful maple tree), we drilled a hole in the tree and tapped the spile into place. Sap starting pouring out! So far, we've collected nearly half a gallon of sap.

The ultimate goal would be to boil it down until it looks like this.

But since it takes 40 gallons of maple sap to make one gallon of maple syrup, I doubt there will be much to go around.

Which is why I made sure to stock up before we left the festival.


  1. Sooooo cool. Avery is always asking if we could get sap from our little maple tree

  2. You could always save it up til you have the 40 gallons. Your kids are still young. ; )

  3. So fun! I had no idea that the sap was clear, or how much it took to make syrup. I love that you took something you learned and then tried it at home. Your boys are so lucky to have a Mom like you!

  4. What a great memory, and brings back my own. The sap from the tree is yummy, although not as great as the boiled down variety. As you won't have much, try spreading it on the snow for a great treat.


  5. I forgot, but then I remember - crockpot blog:


  6. Sounds like fun! What a great idea to take it home and try it yourselves. Keep us posted on how it tastes, if you decide to boil it down.

  7. Wow, that sure brings back memories of living in the Canadian countryside. One house I lived in had a maple grove and their own sugar shack. Fresh maple syrup whenever we wanted it. Those were the days.

  8. OH FUN!!!!!!!! Wish we were there, but the pictures are great, next best thing to being there. I'm so glad even Hubster got to go. I hope it was worthwhile to everyone! We were all even more excited to see you have sugar of your own at home. Wow!
    Incredible memories yes. I'm so glad you watch for experiences to enjoy. It will become a life-time skill. This was an especially great thing to share.

  9. What a cool family adventure! So fun that you're gathering your own sap from your own tree. Your kids must love that!

    Stopping by from SITS.

  10. My grandpa used to make the BEST maple syrup . . .

    Sounds like it was an awesome outing!!!