Tuesday, May 26, 2009

From the Landscape Arboretum

Chippewa woman gathers maple sap
Ojibwa woman gathers maple sap circa late 1800s to make maple syrup and sugar.

While at the Landscap Arboretum this weekend, I visited a little cabin with historical photos and commentary. I was interested in the stories of tapping and creating maple syrup. The Landscape Arboretum shows photos of native Ojibwa tapping sap from the tall maples for their yearly sugar, syrup and confection supply. There were also letters written by early settlers about their night time shifts stirring and boiling sap. To this day, in spring, you will see sugar maples with tubes running from them into white pails as the locals drain the sap for real maple syrup.
Historically Native American Dakota gathered maple sap in the spring at “Big Island”. They called it “Wetutanka Island”. Wetu means: “ Springtime move to sugar camp”. Tanka means “great”.
Recently I chatted with a Deephaven resident who taps his trees, and his neighbors trees yearly to collect and sell maple syrup, and to carry on the tradition. He told me that 40 gallons of syrup make one gallon of pure maple syrup.

(Most consumer syrups are only a percentage pure maple. 100% is pretty intense)


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