4-H syrup club tours a sugar bush

Our second 4-H Maple Syrup Club meeting was at Carl Snyder’s farm. We held our elections for the club. Elected officers are: president, Angela Guest; vice-president, Michaella Snyder; secretary, Elizabeth Guest; and press reporter Andrew Grose.

Following elections we head­ed to the forest at the back of the farm. Snyder walked us through the bush and pointed out the different kinds of maples and other trees. Maple trees have smooth bark when they are small and rough bark when they are older.

The best kind to tap is sugar maple. The best side to tap on is the north side for sweet syrup but it takes longer to come than if tapped on the south side.

We saw how Snyder’s an­ces­tors used to boil sap in a met­al pan over a cement founda­tion and a fire right in the bush.  Then we went back to the sugar shack where they use to boil the syrup. Now they boil in the shed by house because it is more convenient.

The Snyders tapped 1,300 trees this spring.

We learned to read the sweetness tester- it is called a refractometer that measures the Brix (sugar content) in the sap.

The boiler sap was sweeter than the sap in the bucket on the tree.

We had maple syrup treats for a snack with hot chocolate.

submitted by Andrew Grose