When you hear “maple syrup”, you probably automatically think of Vermont. After all, they do have the most maple trees out of any state in the US. But maple sugaring has been a part of our local history as well. Learn all about Basking Ridge maple sugaring (and maybe even get your hands a little sticky) at the Environmental Education Center later this month.
What: Basking Ridge Maple Sugaring Event
Where: Environmental Education Center (190 Lord Stirling Rd)
When: Every Sat & Sun between February 22nd & March 15th (10 am, 12 pm & 2 pm on Sat, 12 pm & 2 pm on Sun)
Admission: Free ($1 per person donation suggested)
Contact: EEC (908) 722-1200 ext 5332
Basking Ridge Maple Sugaring at the EEC
Starting at 10 am on February 22nd, the EEC offers a 90-minute family-friendly program that discusses the maple sugaring process here in Basking Ridge. During each presentation, guests actually see the trees tapped and watch as the sap is extracted from them using the same techniques used in the 1800s. Then, they learn how the extraction process changed over the years. Finally, see the boiling process utilized to change the sap into a delicious syrup.
Visitors arrive at the main EEC building before the presentation begins. Then, they take an easy half-mile stroll through the surrounding forest, past the great swamp and on to the Sugar Shack. For guests with limited mobility, call the center a couple of days ahead of time to let them know. As long as the ground and weather conditions cooperate, there should be no issue traversing the path to the Sugar Shack.
Maple Sugaring Quick Facts
- Tapping maple trees to create sugary sweet maple syrup dates back several centuries, to Native American and Colonial times.
- Only nine cities in Northern New Jersey provide a hands-on experience of extracting sap from maple trees and making syrup. The Basking Ridge EEC happens to be one of them.
- It takes 35 to 40 gallons of sap to make just one gallon of maple syrup.
- Maple syrup contains more calcium per serving than milk.
- The reason most syrup bottles include handles is because it was originally distributed in 5lb buckets. Once mass production came into existence, manufacturers could distribute their product in smaller containers. However, the handle was so synonymous to maple syrup with people that manufacturers kept the handle in their packaging as a nod to the past.
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