Monday, March 22, 2010

Maple Syrup Days - the Tour

March Break is maple syrup time! This year we added to our usual maple syrup experience by volunteering at Agape Valley. So this post will be in two parts, this is part one - The Tour. While Tim and David were bottling maple syrup in the sugar shack, I took Emmi, Ben and Pip on the maple syrup tour. One of our first stops was to see the traditional method of collecting syrup, in a bucket.

Although picturesque, it is not as convenient as the modern method, with tubes. Ben and Pip are happy to listen to our guide explain how the tube system works:

It was a pretty cool and wet day when we went on the tour, so we were very glad to get to the stop on the tour when we gather around the fire and learn how pioneers and First Nations people made maple syrup.

Once in the sugar shack, we were told how the evaporator works, and all sorts of useful information about maple syrup. Because I was the mom of one of the volunteers, I was able to go behind the plexiglass window to have a personal tour of the bottling stage. Tim demonstrated where David held the bottles that were filled with syrup stored in the large stainless steel vat.

Then Tim's job was to put on the tops, check for leaks, and pass the bottles down to the fellow who wiped them clean before the stickers went on. I was able to buy some syrup from the store that had been bottled by Marshes!

I returned with the little wiggles to the pancake house (where Emmi had been volunteering), she returned to work, and the boys and I enjoyed lunch! As I said, it was one of the cold and wet days, so we were very happy to be able to sit by the fire while we ate our hot pancakes and very local maple syrup!

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