Last Sunday, March 12th, SOFSA hosted our first site visit of the year at Sunnycrest Park in the Northside of Syracuse, a workshop about maple tapping. The workshop brought together 21 participants passionate about urban forestry, maple tapping, and foraging.
Together we heard from Kristina Ferrare, Kat Korba, and Brad Fierke. Kristina is the Education Coordinator for the New York Maple Producers Association, and shared valuable information about the Indigenous history of maple, information about tapping, and interesting facts about the future of the industry. Kat works for the Syracuse Urban Food Forest Project, and brought hemlock tea sweetened with maple sap. Brad is an urban tree tapper, and demonstrated tapping a sugar maple on the Sunnycrest golf course. All three speakers brought deep experience with tree tapping and answered lots of audience questions. One fun fact: want to know if a tree can have multiple taps in it in one season? Give it a hug! If your hands touch, hold off. If they can’t touch, it can be tapped twice!
After the demonstration, attendees enjoyed Kat’s hemlock tea, which is rich in vitamin C. They also snacked on banana bread with maple butter supplied by SOFSA Director, Maura, and sampled Brad’s black walnut and “50/50” black walnut and maple syrups. Sugar-fueled conversation was flourishing as folks enjoyed the warmth of the mini-maple evaporator (and the smell of boiling maple sap!).