This past weekend, there was an unexpected and inspirational event that took place at Delaware Park. Over towards Rumsey Woods, an urban maple sugaring demonstration was held. I only learned about the demonstration once the event was underway, otherwise I would have posted earlier in hopes that BRO readers could attend. In the past I have been aware of some sugaring taking place in Delaware Park, but I wasn’t aware of who was behind it, when it took place, and if the public was invited to participate.
Thankfully Christy Ledebur attended the sugaring demonstration and was kind enough to take some photos and pass along a bit of information. She said, “This was really great, just the right amount of information. The taste test at the end really makes it interesting. We met at the shelter in Rumsey Woods, where Matt Kauffman greeted us. He explained the history of sugars, sugar maple and role played with the kids/told the story of the first maple sugar sap and syrup (Indian chief, his wife, axe in the tree, cooking down their last vegetables in what happened to be maple sap and how it turned into maple syrup). Matt led us to several stops. One was this huge Maple which he had tapped at three spots and a clear blue hose went into a small wooden box with a lock on it. Then Matt took us back to the shelter, where everyone received a small cup with two tablespoons of sap to drink, (clear, a tiny hint of sweet but mostly refreshing/clean – green taste), then we received a tiny taste of half finished, and finished maple syrup – boy, was the finished one good! On the steps of the Rumsey shelter helpers were boiling the sap down to turn it into syrup.”
The event was all part of NYS Maple Weekend, sponsored by the Olmsted Parks Conservancy and 5 Loaves Farm. Be sure to look out for future events delivered by these two groups by visiting their websites/Facebook pages.
It would be great to see more of these types of events in our urban parks, for those who might not have access to the outlaying State parks where many of the NYS Maple Weekend events take place. Thanks to all of the groups that made this happen… hopefully this effort continues to grow from year to year.
Hat tip to Cornelia Dohse-Peck who first told me about the event!