Mrs. Diana Higgins’ class at the Eddington Pre-School got a taste of maple sugaring this past Monday , April 13, 2009 when Volunteer Director of Education Robert Schmick of The Curran Homestead Living History Farm and Museum in Orrington was on hand to share the details of the sap to syrup process. A Native American legend that identifies the possible origin of maple syrup in America was shared with Mrs. Higgins’ class along with the process and tools required for harvesting the sugar rich sap from maple trees. The group filed out in a single line to a nearby maple and witnessed the tapping of a tree with a hand brace. A bucket with lid was fixed to a spout for students to check daily on the process of sap flow, which has been considerable even though sap gathering has largely ended in the area. Mrs. Higgins, Teacher Assistant Marie Sekera, and students were given a taste of newly made Eddington maple syrup drizzled over homemade ginger ice cream from Frank’s Bake Shop on State Street in Bangor, which pre-schooler Brian Bates of Eddington commented was “a very good idea.”
The Curran Homestead hopes to tap more trees at the school next year, make syrup out at the farm in Orrington, and provide it for a pancake breakfast for the Eddington pre-school and kindergartners. “This is the first of our developing outreach to area schools,” said Schmick, “and we hope to bring more rural experiences, like maple sugaring, that are among the traditions of our regional identity, to both young and old in our community.” For information about this or any of a number of programs The Curran Homestead can offer to your school or organization in the future, please contact Dr. Robert Schmick at email@example.com, or 207-843-5550.