Monday, February 3, 2014
This weekend we attended the Big Leaf Maple Syrup Festival at the BC Forest Discovery Centre. It wasn't the best weather but it certainly was a interesting afternoon. I've always been interested in tapping maple trees and make your own syrup. However, since we reside on the west coast of Canada, it didn't seem like something within our scope of homesteading. Most maple syrup that you see in stores around here is from eastern Canada. I suppose that this festival was a learning experience for me, more than I expected.
We started our visit with a train ride through the park. We were lucky that they decided to use the open coach cars even though it was chilly. It was beautiful to see all the swans on the lake and deer in the fields. It certainly set the mood for the afternoon. Next we sampled some maple tea, watched the sap boiling process and enjoyed some maple flavored cookies.
For me, the best part was the walking tour through the woods. We looked about for a maple tree worthy of tapping and a volunteer showed us how to tap the tree. We got to look at all the different equipment for collecting the sap. The flow was not good on this particular day though. We haven't have the right weather for maple tapping. Our tour guide claims that we will have a late maple season this year. None-the-less we were able purchase a jar of Saltspring maple syrup.
We don't have maple trees on our property, nor do we have connections with some who does, so tapping maples will be a future endeavor. I feel a bit more confident that if did find a property in the future with maple trees that we could make our own syrup. I love days when I get the chance to absorb new information; especially when those days are spent with my little family.