In late February, just a couple weeks before Spring Break we started to tap some sugar maple trees for sap. This project came to fruition with the guidance (and some extra materials) from Jim Luce and the initiative of Brent Thomas and Liz Wall. We tapped about a dozen sugar maples and then just before break we tapped a few red maples, which yield a sap with slightly less sugar content, so it takes more sap to make the same amount of syrup. For sugar maples it takes about 40 parts sap to make 1 part syrup. It takes about 12 hours to boil down the sap, which we have been doing in the kitchens of the dormitories Abbey House and Earth House.
This whole project is tremendously exciting and it allows us to continue our goal of showing what is possible in the area that we live in. Maple syrup is a sustainable alternative to imported refined sugars. And of course it is DELICIOUS!
Below, Brent Thomas and Eric Dooley-Feldman gather the sap from some trees and then filter and boil it in Earth House.