Maple trees around Wisconsin are now being tapped a tradition going back to the Indians. Native American culture enthusiast Sue Kenney says families would bury food caches in the ground in the fall near the maple trees, so when spring arrived, they could more easily set up camp to harvest the trees.
It was a laborious process as 40 gallons of sap boils down to one gallon of maple syrup. Kenney says that means for six families anywhere from 900 to 2,000 trees needed to be tapped. Salt was not around then and maple sugar was a common spice used in meats and vegetables.
These skills were eventually taught to the early pioneer settlers in Wisconsin who adapted their use with metal equipment.
Kenney was among the exhibitors at the annual Maple Syrup Fest Sunday in Monona. The event also had tours of trees and a demonstration of how early settlers collected sap.
Brian Moon reports (:66)