by: Michael Miller
LAKE PLACID, NY – Bucket by bucket, students at the North Country School, just outside of Lake Placid, are learning how to make a staple of the region — maple syrup.
North Country School Garden Manager Kim Narol said the students have made 30 gallons of syrup so far this year.
“During the class day, we come out with the students and we collect sap through our bucket system all by hand, and students work together to get that work done,” Narol said.
They’re also using the sugaring process to learn math and science. Fourth graders worked on sensory poetry, focusing on writing poetry about trees and their maple syrup. “We had our 7th graders do a whole unit focusing on science and chemistry and the science of the sap and water content in our trees and how that works,” said Narol.
“I really enjoy sugaring, the process of doing everything, and how much work you have to put in for something that tastes so good.” said River, an 8th grader.
Another student said he has a new appreciation for hard work after taking part in the sugaring process “I’m starting to realize it’s really hard work to collect stuff like this, and I’m more grateful for the things that I get now,” said 8th grade student Joel.
The school also has a farm-to-table approach and students get to enjoy the maple syrup they help make during breakfast on Thursdays, when the school serves French toast or pancakes.
Community members can also enjoy the syrup students help make. On Saturday, May 13, the school is having a free pancake breakfast. Students will serve community members and talk about their experience helping make the maple syrup.
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