Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tapping the Maple Tree

Before Ethan Roland began the Sustainable Suburbia workshop, he asked, "Are there any maple trees on the property?"

We weren't sure but he pointed out one to us, right in front of South Church. "It's not a sugar maple, but you can tap any maple."

We gathered around and he thanked the tree before tapping it.

Later he taught the children the chant "maple tree, maple tree, please please please please please please drip."

He showed us how to tap the tree and we took turns turning the drill.

We tied a milk jug to the tap and left it there for a few hours.

By the end of the day there was sweet "maple water" for us all to drink.

The Lenape would freeze this liquid to separate the water from the syrup, Ethan explained.

People and animals would drink this at the end of the long winter. And so we did, too. It was refreshing--like cold water with just a hint of something sweet.