Jessica has been interpreting the historic Native American maple sugaring process to museum and field trip audiences since 2004, and starting in 2008, Jessica and Mark have demonstrated live the sugar making process for maple syrup festival and museum audiences. They don't use modern methods or thermometers - they use only old-fashion tricks and the same know-how the historic Native People employed to "read" the sugar.
This Historic Native American Maple Sugaring Demonstration utilizes an interactive format that includes informal, on-going talks and demonstrations (including hot-stone boiling and trade metal pot evaporation) with tastes of pure, fresh made Maple sugar hot off the fire from our kettles. The program content is a combination of sugaring techniques recorded historically among many Woodland Indian communities (predominantly Ojibwa and Iroquois, with Delaware, Abenaki, etc.). Although we utilize cross-cultural information to present a holistic view of Native maple sugaring of the past, we do not simplify the practice but instead present it in all its complexity (ex. different maple sugaring techniques during different times, different molds and material technologies in different areas of the Northeast, the controversy of how and if pre-contact Peoples could make dry sugar without metal kettles, the inherent issues with hot-stone boiling for sugar making, etc.). As one Maple syrup producer commented of Jessica and Mark, "They're very accurate, and tremendously detailed. They do a fantastic job."
We had a fantastic 2014 sugaring season! Want us to be a part of your museum, park, or festival educational offerings? We have only a couple weekends open during the late winter sugaring season, so schedule early (although we can demonstrate maple sugar making outside the late winter season when needed). Scroll down to learn more about scheduling a program.
The following are pictures of our maple sugaring demonstrations and sugar camp set-ups from 2008-2014.
Because the Maple sugar season is time sensitive, please reserve this program early. We are automatically booked for 5 weekends in this season (which ranges from mid-February in the Ohio River Valley, to early April in the Northern Great Lakes).
Also keep in mind that we can still demonstrate sugar making in the absence of a sap flow. We have for certain programs "created" maple sap by dissolving syrup into water. We especially do this for events centered on Native lifeways that may take place any time of the year. If you are interested in this program but fear the timing may make it impossible to present, please contact us first. We may have solutions that help. We have demonstrated sugar making in Summer and Fall.
Fees for a full camp set-up with on-going maple sugaring demos are $475 for day 1, and $425 for day 2, 3, and so on... or $350 per day without a full camp set-up (for all demos including hot-stone boiling). Plus travel and hotel fare.