Michigan is sixth in the production of maple syrup. This weekend the Maple Festival is being held in 400 cities across Michigan. We chose to visit Dexter, Michigan at the Huron-Clinton Metroparks located at 8801 N. Territorial Road. The event begins with a pancake breakfast. We used “Liquid Gold” maple syrup for the first time in our lives. I always thought what I purchased from the grocery store was syrup, but Mr. Irish read the ingredient list from the bottle. Everything is in that bottle but maple syrup.
Mr. Irish gathered us together in the Activity Center at the Metroparks and explained for ten minutes the process of spotting a maple tree, tapping a maple tree, catching the maple in blue plastic bags and the cooking process. Next he took everyone outside and described what a maple tree looks like. At that point he walked everyone to different trees and asked us to pick out a maple tree. It was elementary at that point finding a maple tree. Once selected Mr. Irish began tapping (See YouTube video Maple Festival – Mark Irish and watch him tap the tree). Due to the cold weather, we didn’t get to see the maple flow from the tree. Mr. Irish stated “it may take several hours for the maple to begin flowing from the tree”.
All the families including mine were enjoying the educational experience. Mr. Irish invited all of us to the wood burning stove and proceeded to explain the process of making the syrup. The maple taken from the tree and placed in pots. Then it is boiled for hours until all of the water in the maple is gone. Everyone had a taste of the pure maple syrup. Yum.
If you missed this event, mark your calendar for next year. This event is one of many wonderful things Michigan has to offer. Look for more stories like this one in my “Discover Michigan” series of blogs.