Forest Friday Adventures
The Things we Take for Granted
One of the important aspects of Forest Friday is just being outdoors enjoying nature for its own beauty and tranquility. In this BEING, the fostering of the senses, community, joy, and stewardship come together, united with no words necessary to explain the divine unity. This fulfillment can only truly come when we also cultivate an appreciation for the life living around us— the flora and fauna and how each unique aspect adapts and influences the other.
This Friday, we were graced by the amazing prescience of Farmer Chris of the Natick Community Organic Farm. Farmer Chris did a wonderful presentation on Maple Tapping. Early in September our first FF lessons centered on natural resources. The children practiced identifying various trees in our community and what they provide for us and in turn, how we can take care of them. Farmer Chris did and excellent job of explained how to ID sugar maples, the difference between syrup and sap, and how the flow of sap begins, starting in the roots and explained the temperature needed to encourage the sap to flow from the roots to the rest of the tree. Tasting the sap was a definite highlight! The children could see that the sap flowing out was clear and that it had a very mild flavor….
The children asked if tapping hurts the tree. Farmer Chris explained that tapping too many holes at once can be harmful and stop production of sap. We tapped only one hole to be sure our tree would be happy. We love our Sugar Maple tree and our proud of its contributions.
Tapping alone does not maple syrup make! From the tapping to the collecting of the sap to the boiling— maple magic is a long and slightly complicated process. We often eat and drink our delicious food and beverages without thinking much of by where, who, and how it gets to us. There is the other side of the process—the things we take for granted— and it’s important to teach children to recognize the work being done behind the scenes. It truly makes us more thankful and the things we eat that much sweeter and more enjoyable!
Heather and Janey