Maple Syrup Festival with Photos

Part I

Mid-February to mid-March the sap starts to flow the maple sugar trees–flowing better when the weather is cooler.  It’s the time of year for maple syrup festivals to celebrate the start of sap running season.  All throughout the Midwest, maple syrup festivals have been happening.   I love maple syrup.

Yesterday, lot us tapped, bored and boiled during the two-day Maple Syrup Festival in northwest Chicago at the 46-acres North Park Village Nature Center.

Did you know maple sugar trees have to be at least 40 years old before they can be used for sap collection?  The hundred-year old trees may have multiple holes.  For just one gallon of syrup to be produced, it takes 40-50 gallons of sap.  Only the maple sugar trees are tapped, so don’t try tap the maple tree in your garden.

Maple Syrup Festival, March 24-25, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., was a day with food, games, musicians and interactive exhibits where I joined other festival-goers in the different stages of collecting maple syrup.   The admission at this event was free with only a charge for food.  Check the nature centers and forest preserves in your area for a maple syrup festival by you.

The Maple Syrup Festival part I:

Step I. A hole is bored into the tree. The healthy, mature trees were tied with a blue ribbon to mark for sap collection. This tree is a hundred years old.

Step 2. A spigot is tapped into the tree and a clean, empty plastic milk gallon is tied below the spigot to collect the sap. The staff at the center tie a plastic ribbon with their names written on them to mark who tapped the tree.

Step 3. Maple sugar tree sap is boiled down into syrup. It requires forty to fifty gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup.

Exhibit of two people sawing wood with a two-handed saw.

There were food tents and farm stands, and places for picnics. This was an apple stand, Hillside Chestnut Orchards from Michigan.

The drummer performed inside the center.

The bluegrass, folk music band, The Giving Tree Band, plucked, strummed and played music for us.

The Giving Tree Band

In part II, there will be more photos and information the nature center, its trails and interesting past.  At the end of the post will be my recipe for maple syrup marinade.

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2 responses to “Maple Syrup Festival with Photos

  1. Pingback: Lost in the Moment | Canoe Communications·

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