This week we had the very special opportunity to travel to FNS site in Collingwood to visit the sugar bush.
After enjoying our snack in the cozy tent, it was time to adventure out and explore a new forest. We came across some dwindling snow piles that provided the perfect canvas to play a lively round of Arctic Fox. Sneaking, hiding, running, jumping, the arctic critters made their way across the last of the winter tundra.
The next stop was Maple Forest. As we entered the majestic place, our senses were on high alert; we saw blue buckets hanging from the trees, we heard a soft “drip, drip” rhythm, we smelled fire and sweetness, and we heard laughter and bird songs echoing.
Matt and Aidan greeted us with big smiles and we were given a run down on the maple operation. Soon it was our turn to choose a Maple tree to tap! Each student carefully selected a tree, and took a smile, bucket, lid and name tag to their new friend. Matt drilled the holes in the tree, and the students helped put in the spyles and most importantly, gave the sap a taste test! We were also kept busy transporting buckets that already had sap in them to the boiler, where the sweet treat was being made.
To accompany our lunch, Treevis donned his chef cap and cooked up delicious vegan pancakes over the fire. Of course they wouldn’t be complete without maple syrup, the tasty product of our labour; the first batch of the season in fact! Each student also got to bring a jar home to sample.
Thank you so much to Collingwood, Matt, Krista and the students who kindly helped out our Meaford students finding their trees. It was a wonderful way to spend the last day of our winter term. We have had a great winter of exploration, discovery, play and learning. Thank you for your curiosity and kindness, we look forward to more adventures with you in the spring semester.
-Emily & Travis (aka Treevis)