150 Years of History in the Hills
The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the April 05, 2017 issue. Reprinted with permission.
A gift from the First Nations to make spring sweet
Is there anything more Canadian than maple syrup? 'Sugaring time', that brief space between winter and spring when the snow starts to melt and the sap begins to flow in the maple groves, evokes romantic images of our past.
The skill of collecting and processing the sweet sap of the sugar maple was known and valued by the indigenous peoples long before the arrival of European settlers. By watching them, early settlers learned how to tap maple trees and boil the sap down to make syrup. Instead of gashing the bark, settlers drilled holes in the tree, pushing wooden spouts, or 'spiles', into the holes. They hung buckets from nails below the spiles to protect the buckets from strong winds or animals.
Adapted excerpt from www.historicacanada.ca/content/heritage-minutes/syrup