18 March, 2011

Sugar Shack!

The boys went on a field trip to a local Sugar Shack with their Royal Ranger group and I tagged along.  I learned a lot of information...but don't quote me on anything because the machines were loud and there was a bunch of little boys running around so if I missed something...sorry!  LOL!
This is the group of boys that went along with their cups of warm syrup to try.

Here a few pictures of my kids with some of their friends.
The gentleman is weighing the syrup here.  It has to weigh 11 pounds per gallon.
He is checking the syrup here to see if it is getting close to the right consistency.
This is the container he was checking.  Can you smell the syrup boiling??  Oh my!  It was a smell sensation overload in here!  It smelled just like maple candy!
This is my 8 yo listening to what the owner had to say.
He poured us each a small cup of warm syrup to drink!
It was soooo good!!  The only way it could of tasted or look better is if it was on a stack of pancakes!
This is Dick Sutton.  He is the owner that was giving the tour for the boys.
Here is my 11 yo in front of the big vats that hold the sap when it is brought in.  We were told that Dick tapped 4700 trees himself, with the help of his crew, but that he also does custom work for another 3000-4000 taps!  Some other neat information I picked up was that it takes 43 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.  He also said one tree gives about one quart of finished syrup!  He also said that trees closer to fields and roads have sweeter syrup than woods trees because of fertilizer and runoff from the roads and fields. I also learned that the metal buckets that used to be so iconic of syruping season are now illegal because they leach lead into the syrup.  That is why so many have gone to plastic tubes, bags, and buckets.
He let us taste some of the leftover sap that was in the vats and it tasted like slightly sweet water.  He said the sap had been filtered 3 times.

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