Sunday, March 6, 2011

#5 Tap a Maple Tree on my list of 39 Things


After church today we ate a quick bite, and loaded up to head out to Lincoln Memorial Gardens for the Maple Syrup Tour.  It was a perfect day for tapping a Maple Tree.  Yesterday it was so cold and snowy, and today temperatures are in the upper 40's!  That is prime weather conditions for the sap to flow.   

Lincoln Memorial Garden is such a gift to our community.  It's also on the National Register of Historic Places.  Jens Jensen, a landscape architect, and associate of Frank Lloyd Wright designed and planted the garden as a gift to the City of Springfield.  For more information check out

After a brief introduction about the history of Maple Tree tapping we headed out into the garden to tap a tree and collect the sap from the last 24 hours. 
Native American Birch Bark Maple Syrup Collection Basket

It's fascinating that something that is 97% water can turn into something so amazing.  The whole process is just intriguing.  Sugar Creek in the Springfield area was a prominate trading community for maple syrup and Raw Maple Sugar in Central IL.  We used a hand drill to drill the hole into the tree

Then drove the spile into the tree. 
 The Liquid Gold began to flow.  It takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.  That is a lot of sap people!  Not only that... they only have a three to four week window to collect the sap before the trees leaf out.  No wonder the syrup costs so much!

We collected the sap to take to the "Evaporation Station".

Liquid Gold!

 We spotted a beautiful Bluejay Feather on our way back.

They cook down the sap to a certain level, and then finish it in the kitchen. 

It takes a lot of firewood to cook down the sap. 

Tasting time!  It was a little fuzzy, but they wouldn't give me another sample to capture a better picture.  Bummer I know!

We had a lot of fun.  It was nice to get outdoors for a little bit.  Now, I feel like eating some pancakes!  Where's the syrup?

1 comment:

  1. I love the embellished planner! And jealous....well, maybe not jealous...but happy to see your crocus coming up. And tapping sap sounds like so much fun! Glad you got to cross something off your list. Or at least put a check by it. :)