maple syrup day at the farm

Today I found myself on essentially a children's field trip ... as an adult. I was oddly comfortable in the whole experience. Last weekend, I stumbled upon a posting for the "First Annual Maple Syrup Festival". Obviously this piqued my interest... and I bookmarked it rather quickly.

The idea of spending a couple hours traipsing around a farm felt like a way to ensure Spring was coming. The last time I went out to this farm was a phenomenal Fall farm day. I bought butter at the dairy and gawked at some leaves. This time around, I had plans to watch sap drip from the trees and then subsequently watch someone boil nearly all the water out of it. Dreamy day. 

In hindsight, it would make sense that this event was targeted at small children but I really didn't realize it until I showed up. After paying my admission fee, I sarcastically asked the volunteers if there were any adult activities or if the day was purely for children. The response? They have decorated 3 whole rooms in the historic house with respect to the time period. Uh, no thanks. So instead, I did all of the children's activities. I visited the cows and chickens, I had cotton candy and maple flavored yogurt, and stood in the front of the tour with the rest of the children. I didn't cry or drop my snack in the dirt, so big victories there.

All sarcasm aside, it was a nice couple hours outside the city. Plus, I can now say that I prefer maple syrup flavored cotton candy and that I know a silver maple tree requires twice as many buckets of sap as a regular maple. Knowledge is power.
[1] Melon and Pat Pat both tried to eat the same hay. This was probably the hardest part of their day.
[2] Old-school sap boiling. It was more of an opportunity to check out everyone's boots. The guides for this station had no idea about the specifics of making syrup ... but there were adorable and old.
[3] During the tour, we got to taste the tap right as it came out of the tree. Phenomenal. When given the opportunity to stick their fingers into the bucket from the silver maple tree, the actual children were timid. I was not.
[4] Can you see the sap dripping from the tree?!?!
[5, 7] Watching a demonstration on how the sugar shack works. I was the only non-parent that knew the boiling temperature of water. Please note how they keep track of sap production on a giant whiteboard. I would want about a million more metrics to track and I'd make this a Google Doc in a hot second. 
[6,8,9] There were some great snacks at the Festival. I had maple cotton candy and maple yogurt, which I followed with maple cornbread topped with maple butter. Then after I toured the period specific historic rooms... I ate blueberry pancake bites with maple syrup and candied bacon. Not mad.
[10-11] I'm not sure that I feel like this chicken coop was really safe from predators ... but it certainly was entertaining to watch the chickens parade up the plank to go lay eggs. 
[12]  I'll never get tired of barns. Ever.

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