Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Traditions: Trip to the Sugar Bush

One of our family seasonal celebrations and traditions is a trip to the maple sugar bush.    I don’t recall ever visiting the sugar bush and not having to wear a coat.
Maple syrup tapping actually started much earlier this year due to unseasonably high temperatures(some bushes reported taps flowing in the first week of February) .  For sap to run, there must be nights below freezing and daytime temperatures around 4 of 5 degrees C.  When day and night temperatures are consistently above zero, the sap no longer runs.  The Ottawa Citizen reported yesterday that the maple syrup season came to an abrupt halt when the trees started budding and temperatures reached over twenty degrees.
This year we visited the Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival and enjoyed a pancake breakfast.   On the trail, the girls were able to learn about the Iroquois account of maple syrup’s discovery.
There was also an excellent early settlers demonstration and maple butter tasting.
Someone is having a Little House on the Prairie moment {hey look Mummy, I’m Laura}
The early settlers would boil the sap (which is clear at first) for about five days to get syrup (or even longer to get sugar). 
I found it interesting that Lily felt the best part of the outing was the opportunity to try spinning wool at the early settlers’ demonstration. The girls had a chance to card wool …
IMG_8990 and try the spinning wheel (this was a treadle wheel). This is not the sort of spinning wheel that has a sharp spindle (the sort Aurora pricked her finger on was probably a walking wheel). 
Thanks for reading and happy spring,


  1. What a fabulous activity for the girls. Such darling pictures. Isn't this weather crazy? It hit 86 degrees yesterday in MI.

    PS. I have a few miniature goodies that need to come to your special dollhouse. On my blog yesterday, I featured a teeny tiny Easter basket.

  2. I LOVE maple sugar candy, though oddly I dont care as much for maple syrup. who knows why! I was just looking through your blog a bit at your vacation, looks like you had a great time. Im so glad you took your daughters with you. I think every thing is more fun when you get to watch kids enjoy it too! (well, most everything..)
    LOVE that red checked bathing suit. and if thats you in the picture with the hat, you have no worries about your weight!
    have a great day

  3. What an absolutely darling photo essay - my girls would love it - must visit Ottawa!! :)

    Last night we had mosquitos in the house - this is so very, very wrong. My magnolia is ready to bloom - it shouldn't bloom until May.

  4. Great experience, KJ. We were at a sugar house in Vermont over the weekend showing our girls how syrup is made.

  5. What a delicious post, both for the senses and the soul!
    I have never tried maple butter.I bet it is fantastic.
    And the girls certainly had fun. I know I would have - with the spinning wheel!!

  6. That is just delightful, what an experience and so lovely the girls are taking it all in.
    Maple syrup - yum!

  7. what a fun trip!! i love maple syrup and traditional craftsmanship.

  8. I've always wanted to try tapping a maple tree. What FUN!

  9. The weather. It's freaky. Today we froze our butts off again... I wonder what the trees think of that? Poor little buds...

    Maple syrup is one of my fave things ever. I don't think I could live without it... Thanks for the tour of your tour. :)


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