Unfortunately, once conditioned always conditioned...the last time I purchased the liquid gold, the children declared they did not like the taste at all. So imagine my surprise when they all but drank some maple syrup during our last field trip to see the process.
We began our tour in the barn so we could have a chance to visit with the animals.
After the barn, we kind of headed in a backwards fashion through the tour. Since there were three other groups doing the tour with other leaders, our next station was the pancake station to sample maple syrup. And that is where the kids decided they do indeed enjoy real maple syrup. Unfortunately, this was not syrup from the farm as this is a 4H teaching farm and therefore does not produce enough syrup to sell. They loved it nonetheless and may have even licked their plates.
After sampling the syrup, we learned about how to identify a maple tree in the dead of winter and then how to tap it. We followed our indoor instruction with an outdoor trek to check out the sap that was draining into the buckets of some tapped maple trees.
Following that, we went to the sugar house to see how the sap is boiled in the evaporator until it becomes thicker and develops that beautiful amber color. We learned that it takes 40 gallons of sap just to make 1 gallon of syrup! No wonder it's so expensive!
I probably don't have to tell you that I stopped by a farm on my way home to purchase some real maple syrup!