Thursday, April 16, 2009

Maple Syrup

I am a huge fan of breakfast. If I was captured by terrorists and forced to eat breakfast for every single meal I'd be one happy hostage. (i mean, as long as there weren't any other forms of torture)
So when my birthday rolled around last month Brian and I decided that it would be fun to go to a maple farm, do the tour, go on a hayride, and then eat a huge pancake breakfast with fresh maple syrup and coffee. Lots of coffee to go with the lots of pancakes.
Maple syrup is only harvested in March when the nights get below freezing and the days are warmer. This makes the sap from the maple trees flow better. This March has not been very helpful to the maple farmers because even though it got cold at night it wasn't consistent and the same with the warmer temperatures in the day. So the cost of syrup has gone up. If it gives you a good idea, the cost of a gallon of maple syrup costs between $30-$35 in 2007. This year it's between $50-$60 a gallon.
I found a maple farm that offered hayrides, a tour of their facilities, and a discounted pancake breakfast. AND it was only 45 minutes away.
We arrived there as soon as they opened at 10am and took the brief tour. Then we got ready to go on the hayride. And this is where it slowed down. The horses weren't ready at all. We stood around a waited until 11:30. Then we just had to go since we needed to be home before Jamison's 1:00 nap. We didn't even have time for the pancake breakfast!!
While we were waiting for the horses to get ready Jamison was able to feed them.

This one was called Betsy. She was feisty and flirty.

Lily wanted to go on the horse but not by herself. So Brian got on with her and I think he enjoyed it more than she did.

Two weeks later Lily's school had a field trip to another maple farm. I tagged along as a chaperone. Here is our group listening to the instructor.

This farm taught how to drill the holes for the spiles. This procedure is old fashioned and is actually harmful to the trees since the holes are so large. The farm that our family went to showed us the improved way of getting the sap out with a spile that is no wider than the width of a woodpecker's beak.
It was difficult to get a good picture of the kids around the sap bucket since they were all so close. After this we tasted sap directly from the tree (tastes like water with very little sugar in it) and then tasted finished maple syrup (with a whole lotta sugar).

And then my camera battery died. So no group picture. On top of that I never got my pancake breakfast with fresh maple syrup at either farm. I'll have to settle for Denny's.

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