Friendship Botanic Gardens to hold Maple Sugar Time

Submitted photoFriendship Botanic Gardens will host a Maple Sugar Time Demonstration on Feb. 24.

MICHIGAN CITY — On Feb. 24 from noon to 3 p.m., Friendship Botanic Gardens will host a free afternoon of winter wilderness discovery at the annual Maple Sugar Time Demonstration.

Visitors can walk through old-growth woodland trails before stopping by the maple sugaring station to learn how the early inhabitants of North America produced maple syrup.

Long-serving garden volunteer Jude Rakowski will demonstrate the processes of harvesting and boiling Red Maple sap to make a foodstuff that was crucial to the survival of the early settlers.

“The Indians taught the settlers how to do this,” Rakowski said. “By spring, their supplies were almost gone and they would have almost nothing to eat except the sugar.”

Rakowski is a dedicated garden steward who gathers and chops wood the entire year to fuel the fires used to boil the maple sap. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make just one gallon of syrup.

This event is very dependent on weather conditions. Please check www.friendshipgardens.org or call (219) 878-9885 for information about rescheduling in the week prior to Feb. 24.

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