Saturday, March 29, 2014

Nightingale's Maple Farm

On Saturday we went to Nightingale's Maple Farm. We wanted to take Lauren to see how they made maple syrup because she wasn't able to go with us when we went to Thurman the week before.

We were able to see the sap running from the tree this Saturday. The week before it was too cold and the sap wasn't running. The man let us stick our finger under the tap and taste the sap. I was surprised that it didn't taste more sugary. 

The man showed us miles and miles of tubing.  He explained that they use different colored tubing for different things.  What you see here is the ruined tubing that they had removed the year before.

This is the vacuum system they use to help get the sap into the evaporator.

You can see the big evaporator they use to boil the sap.

Behind Glen and I you can see the old fashioned methods they used to collect the sap.


It's so nice to have a place to get syrup that is only 20 minutes away!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Thurman Maple Days

After living in New York for 25 years we decided to do something we haven't done before. Go see where they make maple syrup.  In the olden days they would tap the sugar maple trees and then hang a bucket to collect the sap.  Now they all use tubing that runs downhill and collects in storage tanks.

The first place we went to was Toad Hill Maple Farm.  They built this beautiful building in 2010 from trees that were downed on their property.  The tanks above hold the sap until they need it.  Then they have tubes that take it from here into the evaporator below. 

They said you have to boil 40 gallons of sap to get 1 gallon of maple syrup.  And that as the weeks pass you have to boil 50 or 60 gallons to get 1 gallon.

We got to go into the kitchen where they had all kinds of maple things.  Maple cotton candy, maple caramel corn, maple toffee peanuts, maple syrup, maple cream, and maple sugar.  Yum!

When we first got there they hadn't started boiling the sap yet. When they did the steam from the boiling process filled the room and the smell was heavenly! Of course we had to go to the gift shop and buy some syrup.

Sadly for everyone it was a cold, snowy day.  It was too cold for the sap to be running.  So we never got to actually see that part of the process.  However, it had been warmer the day before and it seemed like everyone had saved what sap they had gotten on Friday until Saturday so they could show all the tourists the process.  I'm sure glad they did.

The next place we went to was the Adirondack Gold Maple Farm.

Three generations of the same family have run this maple farm for 80 years.

It was really interesting.  They actually have a much larger evaporator in another building, but since they had so little sap they used the smaller evaporator in the old building.  I was glad they did because we got to see they way it used to be. We bought some maple toffee peanuts and some maple sugar while we were there.

At the Valley Road Maple Farm we ate pancakes with maple syrup.  It was so good.  While we were waiting to eat our pancakes we sampled some of the things they'd made with maple.  We had a dip made with cream cheese, cool whip, and maple sugar that was divine.  So we bought some more maple sugar so we could make some when we got home.

Our last stop of the day was at Hidden Hollow Maple Farm. This place is run by two generations who work to produce all the yummy stuff. They had a window into their evaporator and Glen took this picture looking at the sap boiling.

All in all it was a fun day, and something that I can cross off my NY bucket list!

Lauren's Science Fair

Lauren presented her science research at the 24th Annual Greater Capital Region Science Fair at RPI. She has been working on this since her Sophomore year in High School.

On the drive there we saw the most beautiful sunrise. The photo doesn't do it justice. That was one of the few perks for being on the road at 6:30am on a Saturday morning.

Here she is all set up in her assigned space in the lab.  Crossing our fingers that it all goes well!  Way to go Lauren!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March "Music in our Schools" Concert

March 19th was our last "Music in our Schools" concert. 
 Lauren played the sax in the Symphonic Band,
and the flute in the Concert Band. 

The Symphonic band sounded good,
but the Concert band sounded FANTASTIC!

Lauren had a solo in Arabesque, and she nailed it.  

Mr. Giroux (the band conductor) always lets the soloist stand up 
and receive applause before he has all the rest of the band stand.  
Way to go Lauren!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

BH-BL Presents Barnum!!!

Lauren got to play in the Pit Band for the high school musical "Barnum". She had a fun time doing it, and they sounded great. She said it was hard mostly because the music was hand written and hard to read. One more performance today, and then they're done! There were only three students in the pit band, the rest were paid performers.

Way to go Lauren!