Thursday, 23 March 2017

Take Three Thursday

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.

22 comments:

  1. your maple festival sounds grand - wish I could just pop over! Thanks for the prompt, I joined in this week and aim to do so regularly

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    1. So glad you joined us this week. I haven't been to the festival in a couple of years & I think I'm due for a return visit this year.

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  2. How wonderful that your neighbors are tapping their trees. If I recall from some spring visits to "maple land," it takes a lot to get a jar of maple syrup.

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    1. I am most interested to know what/how they get the sap to product. I don't want to lurk around but I need to walk past their homes several times to catch someone outside so I can ask.

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  3. So is the pump inside the bucket and somehow poking into the tree through the metal/plastic? I can't make out.

    Never heard of pancake syrup but I am prepared to sacrifice myself in the name of research!

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    1. The folks with the metal old buckets are using an old method of gravity & a pipe tapped into the tree, the blue bucket lady is using the suction taps & I can't quite see/understand how it is working. As I replied to Karen, I want to lurk about her buckets as I have a lot of questions.

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  4. Oh to be able to have maple syrup from a tree in the garden... I wish! Oh and I shall be popping over with Helena for this maple syrup do if that's ok!

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    1. Yes, you are all welcome to come visit & enjoy the festival. Sometimes when there is enough snow on the ground, when boiling the sap, they will drop some on to the snow & then you take a stick & roll it over the congealed sap - taffy on a stick!

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  5. Oh I want to live near you .... just perfect

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    1. I am sure Lady Ella, Maggie & Helena can stop by & pick you up ... I should figure out how to attach a video to my blog, to show the process.

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  6. Lots of good stuff I didn't know in this post :)

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  7. A supremely interesting post ... I do like pancakes, bacon and maple syrup as a breakfast treat!

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    1. Thanks Ruth. Pancakes with real maple syrup is such a delicious treat, Mr Man would agree with you about adding bacon :)

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  8. Such memories your photos evoke. I grew up in the country outside London. Our neighbours across the road had a sugar bush on their property! Each spring they would spend their days and night out there boiling the sap. We would visit and put it on snow. Love my Canadian maple syrup. Can't convince the rest of my family to eat it- they think it is too sweet! Eould love to visit the festival in St Jacobs. Love that place.

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    1. Leslee I think you need a trip home. I imagine some of your family grew up with the pancake syrup. I like freshly boiled sap onto the snow & rolled for a taffy treat.

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  9. LOVED this post.... its such a contrast to where we live...and so interesting....I could just imagine your words narrated on a documentary. Its always such a pleasure to see these snippets ...and it serves as a reminder that maybe what I take for granted is actually far more interesting than I think.
    Mardi x

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  10. Living in Canada, I have never seen any tapping of trees here...but I love my maple syrup <3
    The festivals sound like so much fun!!!

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    1. Oh Tracy that is sad that you haven't experienced maple tapping ... it is quite the natural science wonderment. We do have a scrapbook store regionally so maybe next year you could plan a maple syrup/scrapping shop adventure :)

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  11. We like maple syrup around here! Great photos & an educational post!

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