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Tapping into the treasure in our trees

Katelyn Boulanger/Stonewall Argus & Teulon Times

A maple tree that has been tapped with the maple sap being collected in a bucket to be turned into maple sugar.

A maple tree that has been tapped with the maple sap being collected in a bucket to be turned into maple sugar.

Nature lovers who head to Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre for their Maple Syrup Workshop, March 18, will leave with sticky fingers and the knowledge of how to tap their own maple syrup.
 

“(Residents) will learn that they can actually make maple syrup here in Manitoba and take the idea home and make their own at home as well,” Jacques Bourgeois the special events coordinator at Oak Hammock said.
 

“We will have a presentation about how maple syrup came to be, how we started with the process of making it and how it has evolved through the ages.”
 

Maple syrup production has a long history in Canada. It was a source of sugar for First Nations people who eventually taught the skill to early settlers. It has evolved from something that most people did to supplement their diets into a large commercial industry.
 

“Quebec has the monopoly on the maple sugar business but a lot of other provinces and regions such as Manitoba are trying to tap into that market as well,” Bourgeois noted.
 

Residents of Manitoba and their maple trees, with a little bit of knowledge, can themselves tap into maple syrup making.
 

“(Recognizing the trees) is not always obvious because in the summer you can look at the leaves but in the winter you want to make sure that you tap the right tree,” he explained.
 

The workshop will also teach residents when conditions are right for tapping their trees and how to tap a tree.
 

The event promises to end with some syrup boiling and taffy tasting using the traditional pouring on fresh snow and sticking on a popsicle stick method.
 

“It’s an untapped resource,” said Bourgeois.
 

Residents who want to participate can just show up or pre-register on the OHM website at oakhammockmarsh.ca. The cost of the workshop is $12.



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