Monday, March 11, 2013

Experiencing Nature at the National Maple Syrup Festival #BlogFlash2013

Did you know that the National Maple Syrup Festival is held each year in Medora, Indiana during the first two weekends in March? I was given the opportunity to enjoy the festival with my family last Saturday and we had a perfect day to be outside learning about maple syrup production.

Our festival experience started at Medora Community School where the King Arthur Flour Sweet Victory Challenge recipe contest was being judged. Entrants from around the country created recipes using King Arthur Flour and maple syrup. The final recipes were cooked by volunteers and judged by a panel during the festival. This location also had all you could eat pancakes and a variety of vendors.

Next we took a bus out to Burton's Maplewood Farm for the outdoor portion of the event. It was a beautiful day to be outside and the sap was flowing. Just walking up the drive to the farm we could see the buckets on the trees collecting the sap. We learned that it takes 40 gallons of sap to create one gallon of maple syrup and that this is the farthest south and west that maple syrup is produced. This means that this region is also the first place the sap starts flowing as the days grow warmer but the nights still freeze.

On our farm tour we saw reenactments from various time periods. One camp was making salt by boiling the water from a salt lick. At the Native American camp, they were boiling the sap down to make maple sugar. We actually didn't make it to the third camp because the girls were hungry and it was time to go get some pancakes and pork chops. There were many other treats to be had and the one year old got her first tastes of maple syrup and homemade ice cream made with actual horse power. It was a great day for a wagon ride as well but Elizabeth was not about to do that (I think the horses were so big they made her nervous) so we wandered around more vender booths and picked up some Balsamic Hot Fudge Sauce from Best Boy & Co. Of course we had to grab some maple syrup before we left too!

It was a great day spending time with my family outside and sharing so many first experiences with the girls. The National Maple Syrup Festival really offered a bit of something for everyone. Another great thing about the festival is that it is an annual fundraiser for the Heads Up!!! Foundation and Camp About Face, a camp for youth with craniofacial anomalies.

Although the National Maple Syrup Festival is finished for this year, mark your calendars because it is always held the first two weekends in March. I know we are already talking about heading back next year.

Full Disclosure: I received 2 adult festival tickets and a goodie bag with King Arthur Flour and maple syrup from Burton's Maplewood Farm. Thank you so much to Basilmamma, King Arthur Flour, and Burton's Maplewood Farm for inviting my family to attend the festival.

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  1. I love the name 'King Arthur Flour'. It suggests whatever you make, you'll succeed and it will be awesome. What a fab day out learning where our natural foods come from and using it in cooking too. xx

  2. Sounds like you had quite the family day! I certainly never knew that much about maple syrup, though I do remember driving to Vermont with a friend to try 'real' (as opposed to store-bought) maple syrup. Fun times!

  3. Oh what fun you must have had. I used to visit a farm in Vermont with my family annually. Making SWEET can't beat it. :0)

  4. Sounds fun and sweet!

  5. That sounds like such a great day out! I'm glad you all had such a fun time!


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