We spent a lovely brisk afternoon at Oregon Ridge Nature Center learning about maple syrup. It’s kind of an important event to me I guess because we did it so much growing up. Definitely an annual affair for kids. Too bad I didn’t learn to love maple syrup until I was in my 20’s. I kind of missed the boat on that one. What else is new?
I wouldn’t say that our experience was exactly the way I remember it. There were no popsicle sticks, we didn’t eat our fill of pork products and I didn’t see a single worm in the sap. Also, I wouldn’t have wanted anything poured over the sad piles of dirty snow that are left here but it was pretty good all the same. We got to look at the syrup making process from a historical perspective.
First, they demonstrated the way that native americans would have concentrated the sap using heated stones. Later, settlers would have made maple sugar in a bit cauldron to avoid the tax on cane sugar. From there more processing became more efficient and really doesn’t seem to have changed that much.
We really had a lot of fun and Chase did not mind tasting along the way. I think she was most surprised at how the sap really is barely sweet at all. Hiking out into the bush was fun even in a tutu and she got to help turn the drill when we stopped to tap a tree.
We also saw deer tracks and deer poop. She’ll tell you all about it. Even if you don’t ask. Probably over a plate of spaghetti and meatballs with friends at dinner or at some other inappropriate moment. So much poop! We saw lots and lots of POOP! Avery will tell you about the chickens. The chickens and the rooster that almost pecked her finger off. The chickens were pretty much all she was interested in. The chickens, the rooster and getting down. Down, down, down. Down right now. Sidenote: now that Avery is walking you just try to slow her down to, I don’t know, change her diaper or wipe the spaghetti sauce off her face. Wild monkey baby. I think I thought we hit that phase once before but that was definitely a false alarm.