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a tree tapping party

A week ago, Rory sent out an evite to family and friends who had shown interest in our maple syrup making last year. We were hopeful a dozen or so could make it. On Saturday we had forty people, 23 kids and 17 adults, to our house to help place the taps, feed the chickens, name the kittens and eat lots of pancakes.

Rory explained how to identify maple trees in the middle of winter and showed how we insert the taps and collect the sap. And he built an evaporator and had a fire going all morning to show how we boil down the sap. My dad was in charge of fire safety and thought that we had to wait for those pans to boil down before we could eat pancakes. Hilarious. It was just water...we don't have enough sap yet.

It was cold, with a high of 23. But it was sunny. So we told everyone to dress for success and then I set up lots of tables inside so we could fill up on pancakes, sausage, hot chocolate and coffee. My sister-in-law ran the kitchen and flipped many a pancake. Thank you Lisa!

Since my birthday was last week, my mom brought my traditional bunny cake, the birthday cake I have had every year of my life. And then she had the most brilliant idea to cut the cake and eat it outside (no chocolate crumbs in my carpet!) Genius, mom.

The chickens were fed all morning. Some kids got the cracked corn through the fence and to the chickens. Others just dumped dixie cups of chicken food at their own feet.

The chickens seemed to like all the attention. They even cooperated in the spirit of the day by laying eggs for everyone to see.

The morning was awesome. Rory took groups out to the grove to tap trees, the chickens were fed plenty by every kid that walked by, we had a kitten naming contest (results to come), maple syrup cross words and word finds and fed a lot of people in our sunny room with the sunshine pouring in. Rory and I have lots of ideas like Tree Tapping Day, different times of the year when we can have people out to be a part of what we're up to. This first event set a great precedent.


Kyle Groves said...

Super fun day & we were very impressed w/Rory's knowledge. He tricked me into learning!

[not the] Best Blog Ever said...

Wonderful idea! Love this so much. Please include us on the Evite for Round 2. :)

AND... Happy belated birthday! I'm embarrassed that I didn't realize it was imminent when we were there last weekend. We would have said the Hamburger Helper was for BOTH Rory and you!

Unknown said...

Oh my gosh, this looks like such a great time! Marshall and I have paid to do this at the Dodge Nature Center. What a great day to give all of your guests!!

Brenton Balvin said...

I don't feel like I ever get enough time at The Grovestead. Thanks for inviting us and being such super, duper phenomenal hosts! It was a great morning.