Early spring is the time when the sap starts running in the trees. While we were at farm camp a few weeks ago, the children had the opportunity to collect maple sap to make syrup and other maple products.
In order to express their appreciation of the gifts of the trees, the children hiked into the woods and formed a circle under the trees. They joined with others to read poems and say blessings...
...and sing songs together.
The sap was poured into vats and fires were stoked underneath.
With the hours boiling over the fire, water in the sap slowly evaporated and the liquid got thicker, more viscous, and sweet as the sugar concentrated.
Ten gallons of sap makes only about one quart of syrup.
On the last day at camp, we had a feast of whole-wheat pancakes, which we soaked with the glorious maple syrup we had helped make. Its wonderful sweetness was magnified for us by our participation in the process.