Throughout the afternoon, we visited four stations. We learned how trees were tapped by Canada’s First Peoples, the tools that were ingeniously created from the materials at hand in the forest, and the methods of converting this sap into sugar. This important knowledge was shared with the early settlers who further refined and developed production techniques. In a long and labour-intensive process, sap was boiled in steaming cauldrons outside with 40 litres of sap resulting in only one litre of syrup produced. The maple syrup harvest was a time for both hard work and fun. “Sugaring Bees,” or “sugaring off parties” were a festive, enjoyable time for everyone in early communities. We learned how co-operative work was essential for the harvest. The students participated in a fun relay race that had them working together to get the syrup made. Over the years, the procedure of drilling a hole, inserting a spile, and collecting and boiling sap has become increasingly mechanized and efficient. We saw the large stainless steel evaporator in action and got to sample the sweet syrup at the end!
We are so appreciative of the MANY parents who volunteered to help on the trip! Without your support, these opportunities would not be possible. Merci!