ST. LOUIS - Naturalist Trincy Beasley visits Fox 2 News at 11 to talk about making maple sugar and syrup at the Maple Sugar Festival this weekend.
Q. Why is February maple sugar season?
- sugar stored in tree roots during winter
- above freezing days and below freezing nights cause sap to flow in trees
- sap from sugar maple trees has the highest amount of sugar - 3 percent
Q. How do you go about getting the sap? (show/demonstrate related tapping props)
- process discovered by native Americans and refined by European settlers
- pick tree at least 10 inches in diameter
- drill small hole and insert tap
- hang bucket to collect sap
- filter sap to remove niter
- boil down sap to evaporate excess water - requires 40 hours of boiling to produce 1 gallon of syrup
Q. You mention other things that can be made - what are they? (show/demonstrate sugar brick)
- boiling in higher temps produces granulated sugar or hard sugar
- this was the most common product made by settlers - used for long-term storage and trading
Q. So what's really in most of the common store name brands of syrup?
- maple flavored high fructose corn syrup
Q. What else should people know about the Rockwoods Maple Sugar Festival?
- this Saturday from 10-3 at Rockwoods Reservation off Highway 109 in Wildwood
- free for the whole family
- see the whole maple sugaring process in action, both historic and modern methods
- learn how to do it at home
- sample real maple sugar and syrup!
- enjoy live music and food trucks
- parking off-site at Pond Elementary School and the St. Louis Community College-Wildwood Campus
- free shuttle service to and from the event