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.