It's Maple Sugar Time!

Visitors will learn how inhabitants of North America produced maple syrup on Sunday at Friendship Botanic Gardens.

MICHIGAN CITY — The annual Maple Sugar Time Demonstration returns to Friendship Botanic Gardens on Sunday from Noon to 3 p.m.

During this time, Friendship Botanic Gardens will host a free afternoon of winter wilderness discovery. Visitors can walk through old-growth woodland trails before stopping by the maple sugaring station to learn how the early inhabitants of North America produced maple syrup.

Long-serving garden volunteer Jude Rakowski will demonstrate the processes of harvesting and boiling Red Maple sap to make a foodstuff that was crucial to the survival of the early settlers.

“The Indians taught the settlers how to do this,” Rakowski said. “By spring, their supplies were almost gone and they would have almost nothing to eat except the sugar.”

Jude is a dedicated garden steward who gathers and chops wood the entire year to fuel the fires used to boil the maple sap. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make just one gallon of syrup.

This event is dependent on weather conditions. Check www.friendshipgardens.org or call 219-878-9885 for information about rescheduling in the week prior to Feb. 24.

Friendship Botanic Gardens is located at 2055 E. U.S. 12, Michigan City.

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