One maple syrup producer in Shingleton says the season is going great, and at the Haglund Farm, students from Munising Baptist school learned just how great when they made syrup from tree sap. "You put it on your pancakes, and eat it. It's so sugary," said Willow Moser.
It's that time of year when it gets above freezing during the day and below at night, which one farm owner says are perfect conditions for producing maple syrup. For Harry Haglund, it's a tradition he grew up with and now he's passing it on to school kids. "They find it fascinating you tap a tree. We take them through it, we tap a tree. It's cold right now, but on warmer days the sap will run right out of the trees pretty good. They get to taste that and they like that," said Harry Haglund, producer.
They first find out how Native Americans and pioneers made syrup from the sap, and each kid got to taste it this way. "It was really sweet and it was kind of like sweet water," said Adam Colyer, student.
Then they learned how it's done today. After drilling a hole in a maple tree, a tap and bucket is placed together for collecting all of the sap. It's then stored and pumped into a filtration system. Harry says it has been a successful year.
"We are already ahead of last year. Last year we produced probably eight gallons and we are at about 14 right now. It has been a really good year," Haglund said.
For the crew helping him for the season, it's not just collecting. Finally, the syrup and bottles get boiled before storing. Then, at the end of the season, Harry divides it up between his crew. As for the kids, they were able to take some home as well as pour some maple syrup on ice cream.
"The regular sap alone doesn't have much flavor, but when it's made into syrup, it has a lot of flavor and it's very sugary and it's very good," said Morgan Ramsey, student.