Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Drip. Drip. Drip. (The sap is running.)

The current warm daytime temperature and cold nights means that the sap is running in maple trees.  Even though it is a little earlier than most years, local syrup producers have begun tapping trees.

Sap buckets hanging on a maple tree

To Anishinaabe people in Michigan the maple sap is known as ziisbaakdwaaboo and the month of March is known as Ziisbaakdoke-Giizis (Sugaring Moon).  March is traditionally when the people would gather at sugar camp.  Today, people usually boil the sap until it becomes a thick syrup, but Anishinaabe people of the past continued boiling the syrup down until it began to granulize as maple sugar.  Sugar was one of the staple foods of the Anishinaabe people as it could packed into birch bark containers and stored for many months.

Sap drips from a spile into a sap bucket

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