Written by club members: Jack, Alicia, and Chinara
In the Maple Sugaring Club the biggest part was collecting the sap from the trees. We had to know how to identify the Maple trees. In order to identify them we looked at how the leaves grew from the twigs. We had to look at the bark to see if it was furrowed and we also had to examine the edges of the bark. Plus, we had to examine the tips of the twigs.
Our team made an agenda when it came down to collecting the sap. We had to first mark which trees were sugar maple trees, then we would wrap a pink string around the maple trees. We had to be cautious when it came time to drill the tree. We as a team had to make sure that we tilted the drill slightly before drilling a hole in the tree because if we didn’t it could damage the tree or not let the sap flow out as well. We would drill one and a half inches into the tree. We would then put the spile in the tree and set up the bucket on to the spile or next to the tree for the sap to flow into.
As far as the boiling process goes we have to evaporate the maple sap until it gets down to a thick syrup.The first thing we had to do in the evaporation process is gather all the sap in one area and filter all of the sap again. Then we poured half of the amount of sap we had into the pan on top of the wood burning evaporator. Then we continued to just pour more sap into the evaporator, repeating that process until we ran out of sap. We boil 100 gallons of sap in about 18 hours on our wood burning evaporator, ending with a watery syrup. We then need to boil it further until we get to the best thickness. Next we bottle our sap with sterilized bottles.
At the end of the Maple Sugaring Club we always end up selling our maple syrup to customers. We sell the sugar at our middle school play so the parents and students can buy the syrup during intermission or before and after the play.
In the maple sugaring club we had a lot of fun. The maple sugaring club defined leadership in a big way. We had our alumni from last year take on the role as our leaders of the club. Most of us were new to maple sugaring and our leaders made it easier to understand how to do certain things. The maple sugaring club was a great experience for people who like the outdoors. It was also great for people who enjoyed trying new things. There were multiple jobs for people who weren’t interested in one. The maple sugaring club was an amazing experience to everyone in the club.