A year after students in Dr. Linda Fuselier’s biology class successfully tapped Belknap Campus maple trees for the first time (and later ate the fruits of their labor atop stacks of pancakes), the entire campus community and the public are invited to learn how to tap urban maple trees.
A free Belknap Campus workshop and demonstration on maple tree tapping will be held 1 p.m. Feb. 13 in the Cultural Center Multipurpose Room and the Garden Commons community garden. Maple syrup expert David Barker, who helped UofL in last year’s tapping and syrup-making project, will lead the event.
Melissa Michael, who taught the class last year as part of her education PhD, said the goal was to teach students they didn’t have to be science majors to “do science.”
“That’s why we called in Dave Barker, a man whose job is with computers but has chosen to take on the hobby of tapping maples, to help us tap the trees,” Michael said. “Dave provided the taps, buckets, drills and all the supplies that we needed to collect the sap. In addition, Dave processed our sap into syrup at his Urban Ducks Farm. There’s about 30 to 50 gallons of sap to equal 1 gallon of syrup.”
Trees tapped for the special section of Biology 104 produced about a ½ gallon of syrup, most of which was consumed at a special pancake celebration. During this year’s workshop, participants will get a chance to taste a bit of what is left of the 2016 crop.
“We are always looking for ways to use UofL’s campus as a living laboratory for sustainability,” said Justin Mog, assistant to the provost for sustainability initiatives. “Tapping maple trees here on our campus is another way to teach about food literacy and urban agriculture.”