Maple syrup season begins at Bendix Woods

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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - A tradition that dates back thousands of years can be found right in Michiana.

We're talking about tree tapping, getting sap out of maple trees.

Bendix Woods is having its tapping day Saturday, and you can go see for yourself where your syrup comes from.

"You drill a hole into the maple tree, and we stick in a little spout, and we attach it to our system of plastic tubes," St. Joseph County Parks interpretive naturalist Amal Farrough explained. "And once the weather gets warm enough and we get it up above freezing, the sap is going to run out of the tree, into the tubes, and by gravity it will end up down in our sugar house where we can cook it into syrup."

The practice has been in place for a very long time.

"It's very special in that way, in that its roots and its origins are right here and they go back hundreds and thousands of years," Farrough said. "… Many different native American groups, including Potawatomi, produced maple syrup, and mostly at that time produced in the form of maple sugar, because it was easier to store and more portable in a solid form."

That's just one step in the process. 16 News Now will be heading back to Bendix Woods once syrup production begins so we can find out how the lifeblood of a tree is turned into a delicious breakfast topping.