Maple Syrup harvest season kicks off in southeast Wisconsin

NOW: Maple Syrup harvest season kicks off in southeast Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE, (CBS 58) -- Maple syrup harvesting is underway in southeast Wisconsin, and it's something you can go see for yourself in person.

This is something officials at Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary in Kenosha say could be a fun way for your kids to learn more about where food comes from.

"Once you've determined what tree you want and it's at least 10 inches in diameter, you first tap it with a hand drill, we drill upwards so the sap can flow down, we are going to add in our stile, we tap that in with a hammer, then we hang our bucket on it and we wait," said Naturalist and education coordinator at Hawthorn Hallow Kailyn Daum.

She said while maple trees are often associated with the fall, early spring is harvest season for maple syrup.

"The sap flow depends on a freeze and thaw pattern, it has to be consistently freezing and thawing during the day," said Daum.

This is something she said has the potential to be threatened by climate change.

"If our seasons end up becoming shorter and shorter that is a concern," said Daum.

As the buckets fill up, they're taken to be filtered, then the reservoir is filled up.

"We start to empty our reservoir into our evaporator which is where we start the boiling process," said Daum.

One filtered, they begin the boil down process.

"Since the sap is 97% water and 3% sugar, we need to evaporate as much water out as we can to turn it into the yummy thick syrup."

Daum said while it's free to visit the sanctuary, which is mainly supported by donations and grants, you can also come out for classes to walk through the whole process yourself, with some happening March 12.

"We always have some awesome events and classes going on and some volunteer opportunities as well," said Daum.

If you're interested in taking part in one of those classes, it's relatively inexpensive at just $15 per person, and you also get to try some of the maple syrup.

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