Sunday, March 02, 2008

maple trees: the next corn

Yesterday the SO and I drove up to Mora to attend a maple syruping workshop. We were tired from the previous week of activities, and so when we got to Mora our brains stopped working and we got lost. I couldn't seem to remember which school the workshop was at, and no townspeople knew anything about their own town, it seemed. Finally though, we got directions to the middle school and zipped off to try to find it. At this point it was 10:30 and I though the workshop had started out at 10 so I was a bit consternated, because we had driven so far only to miss a fair chunk of the program.

When we got there the parking lot was pretty full and it turned out that a Rural Living Expo thing was going on, and it actually was pretty cool, with workshops on Native Plants and organic gardening and stuff like that. I thought the entry fee was going to be $15 for each of us but it was $8 for our household in total. Plus the maple syruping workshop started at 11 so we were perfectly on time. We perused and gathered various pamphlets and info and then went to the workshop.

The speaker was funny and very into maple trees. He was an older guy and we both really liked his whole presentation. At the end he made some maple candy which was delicious. We're planning on tapping 20 odd trees or so up at the folks land as well as any trees we can find in Minneapolis that are accessible. It doesn't make any sense not to, as it is an easy process that only requires a minimum of effort on our part, and the maple tree pumps out sap for free. We are going to try to make maple and birch beer as well. I might put the order for supplies in today, as the syruping season may start in a couple of weeks.

Then we traveled up to Sandstone and picked up some terrible food at the supermarket and scarfed that down. We went to Geoff's place and talked a bit with him and the kids about the workshop, and then we went over to the sledding hill and enjoyed speeding down the hill and screwing up our backbones.

After that we were lucky enough to enjoy a sauna with the folks at their friends (now our friends as well) Tom & Steph's place. That was very nice and hot. Afterwards they fed us some good food and we hung out in their funky and relaxing home drinking beers. Before we left we purchased some delicious eggs from them.

What a pleasant day, even though I was totally exhausted by the week.

addendum: Okay, maybe I wasn't totally exhausted, but I was tired enough, not only from the week, but from the whole goddamn winter.

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