The aroma this past Wednesday morning at school wafted through the hall—the staff Naturalist was busy making pancakes for the annual pancake breakfast. The children anticipate this yearly tradition with glee. At snack time they helped themselves to warm pancakes topped with homemade maple syrup.
This maple syrup came straight from the hard work of all the children in the school. In March they had tapped the trees around the perimeter of the school and carefully monitored the buckets each day. We have five sugar maples at Apple Valley (three out back where elementary children play which are probably 150 years old and two others within the playground that are at least 80 –100 years old). The children had tapped the five trees with 13 buckets out.
Figuring out the amount of sap they might collect along with the weather conditions amounts to a combined math and science lesson. Not long ago the children had boiled down the sap and figured out which grade of syrup they had made. They made 1.4 gallons of syrup from 88 gallons of sap. They had one record day of 23 gallons of sap.
Now the precious bottles of homemade sugary sweetness were enjoyed with gusto on a fine spring morning!