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Conservation Connection – Maple Sugar Festival

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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
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