If an effort to notice more in my life, I have decided to share what I have noticed this week in Take Three Thursday. The idea is to take 3 photos that are linked some how; by theme, by colour, by date, by moment, by points of view. There is no formal link in but please feel free to join in. What have you noticed this week?
Last week Maggie joined it & you can see what she has noticed this week at: Farmers Wife Day By Day. This week Helena has also joined in: Helenascreativemaven
This week what I am noticing, is a number of neighbours tapping their very large & very old maple trees. In our region most of the maple syrup is produced north west of us & mostly in the Mennonite, old order communities. They then sell by the road side. The first weekend in April is the region's Maple Syrup Festival, an all day Saturday event. The entire town of Elmira closes down the main streets to make the vendors of crafts & wares much more accessible. The fun starts at 7:00am with a pancake breakfast & pancake flipping contest. There are horse drawn wagon rides out into the bush to see first hand the stages of tapping the trees to boiling down the sap to make syrup.
My three photos today are of are the local neighbours' tapping buckets.
Some fun maple syrup facts:
Eighty percent of the world's maple syrup comes from Canada; two-thirds of that world syrup is produced in our La Belle Province of Quebec! Maple Syrup is not the same as pancake syrup, which is usually made from corn syrup!
There are three of 13 species of maple tress, native to Canada that are best for syrup; Sugar Maples are the most commonly tapped, but Red Maples & Black Maples are also good candidates. A maple tree needs to be at least 35-40 years old before it is big enough to tap. It takes about 40 gallons (182 Litres) of sap to make one gallon (4.555 litres) of syrup.
Most sap harvesting is done with suction pumps, rather than the old way of gravity, spikes & buckets. Tubes & suction pumps are much more efficient for the syrup farms. The sap runs best when the nights are cold & the days are warm
Some of the first written accounts of tapping the trees comes from Marc Lescarbot, a writer (& lawyer) in 1606 where he describes the first nation people collecting maple water & distilling it to make syrup.
St Jacobs, ON (another predominately Mennonite community) has a Maple Syrup Museum.