Maple sap starts to flow after cold start to season

Despite the snowy forecast for Tuesday night, winter is slowly coming to an end and what better way to celebrate than by getting the family together to enjoy a pancake and sausage breakfast.

It’s all part of Sugar Camp Days at Bendix Woods County Park this Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 to 3 p.m.

Park interpreter Amal Farrough says there is something for everyone. Folks can enjoy pancakes and sausage and taste the maple syrup made right here in St. Joseph County. There are activities where you can be sitting down; there is musical entertainment, face painting, crafts, historical demonstrations, wagon rides and much more

“I think the best part for me is walking through the Sugar Bush and visiting the Sugar House. The smell is so wonderful when you can smell the sugar cooking and smell the steam off the pan,” adds Farrough.

Even after a slow start, the first batch of sap was collected and a gallon of syrup was made Monday.

“It has obviously been a very cold winter and that has delayed our maple syrup season. Normally, we would be cooking syrup for a while now,” adds Farrough.

Farrough says weather conditions have to be above 32 degrees during the day and below 32 degrees at night to produce the most sap.

Even so, right now there are 175 taps throughout the Sugar Bush. Tubes are connected to each tap which brings the sap right into the Sugar House and that sap is eventually turned into syrup. In addition, there are about 50 to 60 other trees with taps in them right now thanks to school groups who have come out for field trips.

“It’s wonderful and very exciting to have a product that comes from such a natural setting and something that kids and the public can really participate in and have a hand in making,” says Farrough.

She also says that they expect to have a great season even though it will be a little later than usual. She says during a great season they can make between 60-80 gallons of syrup. Other seasons they have been able to make between 20-40 gallons.

For more information on these Sugar Camp Days you can just visit the parks website

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