What do you think of when I say 'Vermont?' Skiing? Fall foliage? My children think of good maple syrup! We decided to go to a local farm and see just how this yummy breakfast staple makes its way to our table...
Sugarbush Farm is in Woodstock...but, while it's residents tend to be crunchy granola-types, it's not that Woodstock. The farm is quite productive, with cheese, syrup, jams & jellies, and other maple-based treats. They give fascinating cheese-making demonstrations about their different cheeses.
They also let you sample as much cheese and syrup as you can handle! (Happy bellies = happy children) With fifteen cheeses, and four types of syrup, to choose from, it's easy to fill up quickly!
After all those samples, we needed a little exercise. The farm has a nature trail set up that includes information plaques about making maple syrup. We learned about the differences between sugaring in the 19th century and today's drip-line process. At the end of the hike, we watched a ten-minute video about sugaring. (Had we paid attention to the signs, this would have been first...)
The boys took the Sap Carrying Challenge, and found out just how difficult it is to carry five pound buckets of syrup through the 'white and drifted snow.'
We couldn't see and smell all that syrupy goodness without taking some home, so we hit the farm store and picked up some organic cheese and a gallon of very robust, Grade B syrup. (While Sugarbush Farms' products are organically-made, they have not completed the paperwork for the label.) All in all, a yummy and educational day!
Maple Syrup Unit Study