This week we ventured out to the Kortright Centre conservation area for their Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival. Tanny and I have a special affinity for the Kortright Centre since we got married there but we have never made it to the Maple Sugar Festival. The centerpiece of the festival is a walk through the forest to visit several interpretation areas (with yummy samples). The guided walk is about an hour. We made our own way along the trail, eavesdropping on the tours when we met them and did it in less than an hour and really enjoyed ourselves. I think that if we didn’t have Ella with us we wouldn’t have taken the entire tour. Some interesting maple syrup facts:
- Sap from the sugar maple tree is 97% water
- The ratio of sap to syrup is 40:1!
- In the old days you had to boil the sap for 24 hours to make syrup - continuously
- Modern syrup making takes 6 hours
- Maple trees are one of only four families of trees in Ontario that have opposite branches (i.e., branches and leaves come off the main stem in pairs on opposite sides of the stem). M.A.D. Horse is the way to remember these trees: Maple, Ash, Dogwood and Horse chestnut.
Tanny and I loaded up on maple sugar and maple almonds from their sugar shack. Ella was mesmerized by the pony ride but was a little too scared to get closer than 3m away.
The festival runs until April 13, 2009.