Although snow is still on the ground here at Conserve School (and more seems to be coming down every day), temperatures are warming up during the day so sap has begun to flow out of our sugar maple trees. Students, families, and staff tapped the trees before spring break, but conditions have only recently become right for sap flow. When students returned from their week away from campus, a few hearty souls strapped on snow shoes right away and headed into the woods to help empty the bags and buckets that were filled with sap.
Staff members Jean Haack and Cathy Palmer, our resident maple syrup experts, accompanied students during this activity with a truck that held a large container into which the smaller buckets of sap were dumped. Sap is strained through a filter before it goes into the container to remove debris before boiling.
The smell of sap boiling down into syrup is a strong and welcoming scent, and one that reminds us that spring is near (even if it doesn’t feel like it yet)! The sap is boiled down in a wood burning evaporator that is housed outside the Lowenstine Recreation Center. Stay tuned for more information about turning sap to syrup, and some pictures of our finished, delicious product soon!