Earlier this week, I wrote about how Jeremiah Warren is teaching the kids at Old Mission Peninsula School all about making maple syrup. The kids even get to hang their own sap bags on the trees in the woods near the school. Read all about that and see photos here.
But wait, there’s more! A few days later, I heard that Jeremiah (“Farmer Warren” to the kids) also invites the kids to his shop where he actually makes the syrup and other maple products (they walk down from the school). So I stopped by for Part 2 of the story.
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And I learned a lot in the process. Jeremiah has a big machine where they heat the sap to a specific temperature, which then turns it into maple syrup. It’s much different and more efficient than when my mom used to put giant kettles of sap on the stove and heat it for days on end, only to end up with a tiny bit of maple syrup. (Well, that part is still true, no matter how you make it. Takes a lot of sap to make syrup).
However, Jeremiah mentioned the lovely activity of pouring a bit of maple syrup into the snow and eating the snow like a little maple syrup slushy – we did that outside the door when Mom was making the syrup. So some things never change.
Also, I did not know that maple syrup actually has a lot of nutritional value. It’s high in antioxidants, and a good source of manganese, riboflavin and zinc (which we’re all about in these perilous times, right?). It also has zero fat. We like that.
Jeremiah said maple syrup also fights heart disease, is known as “nature’s medicine,” and you can replace regular white sugar with maple sugar, which has a better hypoglycemic level and, of course, more nutritional value.
Jeremiah and his wife Tanya own Old Mission Maple. In the warmer months, you can find their maple products at the Warrens’ “Between the Bays” farm stands, 2705 Island View Road and 8169 Center Road, along with other fruits and veggies in season. And throughout the year, they also sell their maple products, including maple syrup, maple sugar, maple candy, maple crumbles and maple cream, at the Grand Traverse Commons’ indoor farm market. Check out the location and current hours here.
I am a big fan of all their products, and especially the maple cream which, as mentioned in Part 1, is the best thing I’ve ever tasted in my life when spread on a piece of home-made sourdough toast.
Here are a few more photos of Jeremiah with the kids in his maple syrup shop. The kids had a taste of maple sugar and maple sap, and they all took home a small bottle of maple syrup (and I got one, too – thank you!).