Maple Syruping with the Children

At our girls’ school, maple sugaring is the responsibility of the third grade.  I don’t know if it’s a Waldorf tradition or if its just our school, but the process and the history gets passed down from one class to another.  The sugar shack was built a number of years ago by that year’s third grade and this year we experienced first hand why maple syrup is called liquid gold.  It’s ridiculously time consuming, that’s why.  Dang, it takes time to collect the sap, lug it from here to there and then boil it down!  And oh my goooodness is it delicious! And how homesteady did we feel when we were tapping trees and carrying 5 gallon buckets, one handle in each hand, down to the sugar shack?  Pretty darn Little House on the Prairie.

I kept saying to Jon how much fun it was to be trouncing in the woods when we were tapping trees and setting up the lines on a gorgeous winter day when we could be outside without completely bundling up.  We’d drill the holes for the taps in these majestic trees and they generously began seeping or gushing sap.  Each time, I got a little burst of excitement when I gently smacked a tap into the tree and the sap immediately began to run down the line.

I had such excitement on my face, he looked at me with trepidation, “oh, great, now I guess you want your own maple trees too, huh?”  Weeeell.  It WAS FUN!  I think he’ll add that to the list – goats, cows, maple trees…

The cutest sugar shack ever.

The God of Maple Sugaring – he’s been sharing his extensive knowledge of the process since the shack was built, working with each successive third grade class.

Ahh… a wood stove, now that looks familiar!

Doling out maple syrup by the teaspoon

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