Woodlands Maple Syrup Field Trip

We met with a group of our homeschool friends at MacPhee's Orchard for a field trip to learn how maple syrup is made. 

We were shown the entire process of making maple syrup, from collecting it from the trees to processing the sap into syrup. 
At different time of the season and also different trees give different amounts of sap. It also takes a very big amount of sap to make a small amount of maple syrup. We were told that about six of these large steel buckets were needed to make 1 litre of syrup. 

We tried the sap straight from one of the steel buckets. It had a bit of a sweet taste, but mostly tasted like water.

Richard showed us spots on the maple tree where the woodpecker gets the sap and talked about how early inhabitants would have made the connection, noticing the sweet sap coming out of the tree. 

You can see the small holes in the photo below and the sap that ran out and left a path on the bark of the tree. 

We were then given a taste of the maple syrup. So delicious! 

We went inside the sugar cabin and learned more about the entire process in the making of maple syrup. The smell in the cabin coming from the evaporated sap was wonderful and we now appreciate maple syrup even more knowing the full process. 

Richard explaining how the syrup is checked for thickness as it gets boiled down. Once it is ready, it is then strained into the red pot. 

I found this image at Pure Canadian Maple Syrup and thought it was perfect to show the process simply: 

The Woodlands Maple Syrup is stronger in taste than the Quebec one we usually get from my inlaws, but both are delicious and favourites in our house!