Black Creek kindergarten class learns the basics of making maple syrup

By Linda Titel
On Tuesday, April 18, the Black Creek Kindergarten class had a field trip to Fallen Timbers.
Upon arriving, Jodi, Fallen Timbers staff member greeted the children along with Tony, another staff member.
The children were there to learn about maple syrup, how the sap is tapped from the maple trees and then the stove process of making the syrup.
Miss Jodi explained that there are five maple trees that they can get sap from but they prefer the sugar maple because it is the sweetest.
She also told the children that the width of the tree trunk determines how many times that tree can get tapped.
She then explained the procedures of tapping the tree.
1. A hole is drilled into the maple tree.
2. The hole is then cleaned out with a stick.
3. A spile, spout for collecting sap from the tree is placed in the drilled hole.
4. The spile is pounded into the hole with a hammer.
5. A hook is placed on the spile.
6. A bucket to catch the sap is placed on the hook.
7. A tent-like cover is placed on the bucket to keep deer and other animals from eating the sap.
After the procedure demonstration, the children walked through the woods to the Maple Syrup Cabin. Inside was a huge stove, and Mr. Tony was there and explained the process of turning the sap into the syrup.
He explained how the sap is put onto the stove and then the stove boils the sap and the water evaporates off the sap through steam. It takes about 40 parts maple sap to make 1 part maple syrup. (10 gallons sap to 1 quart syrup.)The sap is also filtered to remove bugs or fine particles.
After learning the “Hows and “whys” on making maple syrup the children all enjoyed some ice cream.
Did you know that the public is welcome to visit on weekends and weekdays after 2:30 p.m.? It’s true! If you don’t have plans this weekend, go take a peek in the maple syrup cabin and walk the trails!
0424-bc-maple copy Kindergarten class watches the steam from the stove that boils the sap down to make syrup. – Photo by Linda Titel
0424-bc-fallen timbers copy Gabby Gillbertson, right, uses her muscles to hand drill the hole in the tree while Max Wachtendonk waits for his turn. At left, Sydnie Stingle reaches up to feel for a pre-existing tap hole while Brinley Poch watches. – Photos by Linda Titel
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