Sugaring Time!

Hello Friends! 

Throughout the month of March, we studied and emulated the process of making maple syrup. Here’s a timeline of our sticky adventure: 

IMG_3835

It all began when our friend Kim came for her every other Tuesday visit on the first day of March. We had been wanting to tap the maple tree on our playground but we needed some help. Kim to the rescue! She showed up with everything we needed.

 

Kim even gave us all a little taste of maple syrup that she made during the 2015 sugaring season. It was delicious and left us begging for more! But it was time to put on our outdoor clothes and head to the maple tree…

When we got to the maple tree, Kim gave each friend the opportunity to drill a portion of the two holes. Each student also got to help hammer the syrup spiles into place. The side that the sun was shining on starting dripping sap right away! With that, we hung up our buckets, put the covers in place, and headed back inside. Now it was time for nature to do its job. 

When we had that delightfully warm week in March, our tree gave us lots and lots of sap. We decided that we had enough to boil down to syrup…

During one of our morning work periods, each child watched a short video of other children learning about the process of making maple syrup.

IMG_4254

L and B were very engaged. They asked a lot of questions and made the connection between what the children in the video were doing and what we were doing!

IMG_4258

A and M were astonished by the sap going into the boiler and coming as syrup.

 After everyone had seen the video, we began the two-day process of boiling down our sap. We filled a pot 3/4 of the way full with sap. Then we left it on medium heat until there was only 1/4 left. Then we added more until the pot was 3/4 of the way full again. We did this until we ran out of sap. Eventually it boiled down into a little more than 1/4 cup of syrup. The children loved watching it bubble, seeing the condensation on the windows, and smelling the sweet, sugary smell. We were all eager to taste our very own Maine Mountain Children’s House maple syrup. But we decided we should make some crepes to go with it.

IMG_4268

The students made the crepe batter independently. A teacher simply told them how much of which ingredient they needed. Here M is pouring the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients while F whisks it all together. Awesome teamwork friends!

When the batter was ready, a teacher cooked each crepe in a pan while some friends watched.  

IMG_4276

M was so excited to see the crepes transform in the pan. She couldn’t wait to have a taste!

 That afternoon we enjoyed our crepes with fresh fruit that the children helped to prepare and a drizzle of our homemade syrup. It was the perfect ending to our maple syrup unit!

May the long time sun shine upon you,

Ashley, Bethany, and Emily

Leave a Reply