Wednesday, March 14, 2012

maple sugaring, part 5

Last sugaring post, I promise!

We wrapped up our maple sugaring unit the beginning of this week, and untapped the trees, which now need their sap themselves for nourishing their flowers and leaves. The unusually warm temperatures predicted for this week and next promise an early flowering.

The boys enjoyed gathering the sap every day (this happens to be J), and we wound up collecting enough over the course of the week's activities to produce about a gallon of syrup. (The Map Man collected sap in the evenings as well.)

When all the sap was finally condensed down over the fire outdoors, and all of the families involved had a quart or two of the concentrated sap to finish boiling at home, we boiled what was left down to syrup on our stove to produce the final pint of syrup.

Here are the three stages in our syrup making process -- on the left is raw sap straight from the tree, in the center is the concentrated sap (about 50% of the water removed), and on the right is the final syrup.

We celebrated our syrup making efforts with a pancake lunch (thanks so much for hosting and cooking all those pancakes, T!). We had delicious pancakes covered with butter and blueberries and blackberries and lots of sweet, sticky home-made maple syrup! It was VERY yummy!

The boys enjoying their pancakes with their friend, Tree Elf.

What a fun unit this was! This is the way science and history are best studied -- hands on and experiential!

Homeschooling is just the bomb!

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