As spring arrived with warmer temperatures and sunny days, sugar season officially came to an end this March. We harvested our final batch of sap on March 26, and we began pulling taps on March 27. The community celebrated the end of the sugar season at the Në Mnokmêk Celebration on April 13.
More than 100 volunteers/visitors collected 1400 gallons of sap alongside our sugar staff. From that sap, we cooked about 31 gallons of syrup and two pounds of maple sugar.
Students from Zagbegon came out to sugar camp several times and helped collect sap, and students from our Afterschool Program helped make maple sugar. Students from the American Cultural Exchange Service (ACES) Program also visited for the third season in a row to learn about the process. Other volunteers made spoons for their feast bags as a model for larger stirring paddles.
The zisbakwet (maple sugar) and ziwagmëdé (maple syrup) produced during this season is available for purchase at the Language & Culture building during regular business hours. The 8 oz bottles cost $10 and 12 oz bottles cost $15. The price for sugar has not yet been determined. We are only able to accept cash at this time.
Migwetth to Jefferson Ballew IV and Wahsnoday Pamp for putting in their time and energy into harvesting this first gift of the year for our community, and migwetth to everyone who visited and volunteered this season.
Në Mnokmêk celebrates the gifts of spring
About 50 people gathered together for the 4th annual Në Mnokmêk (Gifts of Spring) Celebration this April. They learned about protecting Mother Earth and celebrated the end of the sugar bush season.
Our Department of Natural Resources (DNR) shared on plastic pollution, decomposition of everyday products, using solar energy, composting, invasive species, trees, and sugar bush. Attendees received a small bundle that included paper straws, mud balls filled with native seeds for planting, and the opportunity to paint rocks.
The Language & Culture Department provided lunch, cooked by citizen Jefferson Ballew IV. They served a multitude of delicious foods, most featuring maple syrup or a maple sugar flare. Attendees enjoyed bison roast, duck, fish, wild rice, fruit, acorn squash, several homemade soups and cookies for dessert.
Language & Culture presented to everyone the results of 2019 sugar season and thanked those who volunteered and helped make the 2019 sugar season a success.