Photographer's Note

This is a shot of the old fashion way to collect maple.
Here is a little history of maple:

The maple sugar time is during spring, march and april, when it is freezing during the night and above 0 celcius during the day. It's very important that freezing happens during the night, otherwise no sap will flow from the trees. To make maple syrup, we recuperate the sap circulating between the wood and the bark . This sap is sweetened. It's boiled to evaporation and then they keep the sugar. They need forty (40) litres of water to produce 1 litre of maple syrup.

It's known that more then 400 years agos, the amerindians, used their tomahak to split the bark, inserted a little peace of wood to direct the sap in a little bucket.
Around 1850, the sugar shack arrived as we know it today. In 1915 metal was introduced. At that time, they began to build metalic pails, spouts and evaporator, as seen in my photo. This method is still used today for those who own one thousand maples or less. The most modern and widely used method of collecting maple sap is plastic pipeline. A network of this pipeline takes the sap from the tree to the sugar camp to be boiled. This modern sugar camp boils the sap from 13,500 maple taps. The large evaporators boil up to 45000 liters of maple sap per day during the maple season.

The maple tree is knotched when it reaches twenty-five years old. It will produce one liter of maple syrup during the spring time. The maple tree could live up to two hundred fifty years.

For us, quebecers, it is a tradition to go to the sugar shack on spring time, drink “caribou” and eat a good meal. The meal, is compose of the pea soup, ham, omelet, pork beans, the “oreilles de crisse” (salted back bacon), meat pie, very good with the fruit ketchup, and potatoes. For desert, the pancakes served with maple syrup. It is served family style, they bring big plates on the table and we served ourselves as we wish.

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Additional Photos by Paul Leduc (PLD_images) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1535 W: 241 N: 1034] (7149)
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