Imagine this scene: a late-winter evening with the temperature dropping as a car drives up and stops besides an old metal shed … a couple of kids eagerly watching as the driver (their dad) unloads a couple of 5-gallon pails of fresh maple sap from the trunk of the car … the sap being weighed, tested and poured into a large “community” sap tank as the kids get all their maple-sugaring questions answered by Kettle Ridge Farm personnel.
Then it’s on to the bonfire a few steps away where other families have already gathered after making their own sap deliveries … talking about their maple trees and sap gathering experiences … sampling some maple syrup … warming up.
Perhaps someone will even bring along a guitar and sing a few songs.
What you (and we) are imagining is the new Kettle Ridge Farm community sap collection station. Because this will be the first year for the collection station, it will be something of an experiment. To our knowledge no one has tried to organize a community drop-off for maple sap.
Our goal is to teach families about the maple trees in their own backyards. We expect to have a lot of fun with it.
Participating families will learn a lot about maple sugaring: how to identify the maple trees on their own property, how and when to tap them, and how to turn the raw sap into pure maple syrup.
The sap delivered to the collection center will be measured for sugar content, and credits will be recorded that are later applied to the purchase of our maple syrup by the participating family.
The syrup containers will be specially-labeled. So when 5-year old Susie presents her grandparents with a jug of maple syrup that says “Made With Sap From Susie’s Maple Trees,” she will undoubtedly swell with pride.
To participate in the Kettle Ridge Farm community sap collection station, you must attend one of our Saturday morning classes at the farm. The free one-hour class will provide instruction on maple sugaring and go over all the details of collection station. We will also have inexpensive food-grade sap collection kits available for purchase.
Perhaps you just want to make your own maple syrup at home. That’s fine, too. You can still come to the class and bring home some collection kits.
The first class is January 23, 2016 at 10AM. Space is limited. Sign up at http://www.kettleridgefarm.com/community-sap-collection.