At The Grove, maple syrup production has long been a part of the traditions our students and staff enjoy in the Springtime. The function of maple syrup harvesting has varied over the years. Originally made to supply the Dining Hall, later used as a chore for students caught misbehaving, and now a beloved tradition, the roots of maple syrup production extend as deep as the roots of the campus maple trees themselves.
We spoke to Mr. Garret Hart to learn more about this long standing tradition.
“The history of maple syrup in this area has extended centuries, from the First Nations to early settlers who saw it as a really important staple – both for food production and as a community event, bringing people together in the Spring. And we continue that tradition here at The Grove now. One of the first signs of Spring that people love is when they drive onto campus after a weekend and see all the pails up on the trees; they know that the change of seasons is afoot and we’re ready to welcome the warmer days.”
We spend four to five weeks in the Spring working on syrup production. Students enjoy tapping the luscious maple trees on campus and boiling the sap into a delicious syrup to be bottled and sold at events throughout the year. Though the operations are managed by Mr. Hart, our students enjoy participating in maple syrup activities throughout the season and particularly during Maple Week.
Over the years, the scale of the maple syrup production has varied; starting with just a few taps around campus and growing to 275 taps this year! The LCS community can look forward to a great supply of nature’s liquid gold for months to come. This year, our maple syrup products will also be packaged in bottles featuring new labels and logos, designed by our students.