The neat thing about this sugar bush is that you take a horse drawn carriage out to the farm. Sam was all about telling the driver where to turn "because I know where we are going!" It totally made me laugh because he was so proud about knowing how everything worked. It was about a twenty minute ride to get to he bush and very fun. It made me want to get a horse and always travel by horse drawn carriage because it really forces you to slow down and enjoy the ride. But then I remembered we'd have to feed and stable the horse. There goes that dream!
When we got to the sugar bush we first got a ride through the actual bush so we could see all the trees and the lines gathering sap. Then we got a tour with a history of how maple syrup has been processed throughout the years. It was very interesting.
When you taste the sap as it comes out of the tree it mostly tastes like water. That's because it is only 2% sugar. It takes 40 units of sap to make one unit of maple syrup. That's a lot of sap.
My dad is standing beside the a tree displaying the present day method of getting sap from trees -- a plastic stile (I knew that word from Catching Fire, the second book of The Huger Games!) which is connected to the blue tubing. The sap then flows through the tubing to the holding tanks. This particular farm has about 2400 stiles this year and 16 kilometres (almost 10 miles) of tubing.
Rachel didn't want to walk and enjoyed the vantage point from Dave's shoulders. Plus it allowed her to get up close and personal with the horses.
Then we saw how First Nations' people would have made syrup. The sap was collected in these wooden troughs and then hot rocks from the fire were dropped into the sap. After doing this continuously for three days they would have maple syrup.
Early pioneers would collect the sap in buckets and then have it not-quite-boiling in pots over a fire. After about a day of continuously cooking it, they would get maple syrup.
Sam did not want to pose with Dave and Rachel by the horses but I got him in the picture anyways. Meanwhile Rachel enjoyed another look at the horses. Looking at the pictures now I can only imagine how big they must have seemed to her.