Monday, March 05, 2007

Maple Festival

Cranbrook had a Maple Festival this past weekend that we went to on Saturday. (Cranbrook is a Museum here in our area that we have a membership to). With the weather still being cool and knowing that we would be walking outside be busted out the backpack carrier. Maddie doesn't know what to make of it.At the Museum we started our walk by the Maple trees that they had tapped to get the sap out. I now way too much about how to make Maple Syrup. When they tap a tree, the tree has to be 10 inches in diameter, and for every additional 8 inches it can have another tap in it. A 'gusher' tap has one drop of sap every second, it take 3 hours to still fill a bucket. The sap only comes out on days when the weather is above 40', the sap travels up the tree and nights when it is in the 20's the sap goes back down. This upward/downward traveling of the sap is what allows the sap to come out of the tap's.Next we went to where the boil the sap into syrup. Sap is only 1.5 to 3 percent sugar, syrup is 68? percent sugar. So they boil the sap until it is 217'? to get the right mixture of sugar & water.They also had examples of games that Indians used to play to teach children the skills needed to do chores. Brendan was watching intently.Next we went to the Indians huts to learn about how the Indians made maple sugar. They would store it in the ground so that other animals wouldn't be able to get it.And this funny guy taught us some of the words that Indians used for different things. A maple tree means 'Man Tree' because it branch's out in pairs (like arms) instead of a branch and then another branch a little higher and not even.Finally we went inside for a snack and of course I had to buy some pure maple syrup.

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