March 13, 2012

The Ashokan

We discovered a new place just beyond the Ashokan Reservoir called the Ashokan Center. The reservoir is very important to us because of its natural beauty, and it is the very water that feeds New York City.

We discovered the Ashokan Center when we followed their signs to their annual Maple Fest last weekend. It was great watching them collect sap as it ran down lines into the sugar shack from dozens of maples in their forest. In the sugar shack they boil it down to make their syrup. Everything smelled so good! We also saw a more old-timey method of boiling sap over an open wood fire. We have dozens of maples on our property and are thinking about tapping them ourselves.

We also saw demonstrations on blacksmithing, tinsmithing, and broom making. There was also the pancake breakfast with lots of maple syrup and maple cookies. A perfect breakfast.

Finally, we got a guided tour of the Center's new facilities, which should be up and running some time this summer. The new buildings are beautiful and seem very well thought out. Super-efficient and lots of reclaimed materials. Possibly Mike's school will have trips or retreats out there some time.

Meanwhile, it's quiet back at the cabin. Almost time to come out of winter's hibernation and start planning the next phase of restorations of our own!


  1. Mmm. Love maple syrup. How special would that be to tap your own trees?

  2. I think tapping your own trees sounds cool. You can bring your plate of pancakes outside to a tree and drip some syrup on them :-)

  3. It's totally doable. A lot of people tap their own trees even here in the city. Might not be so good this year, though, as you need cold nights in early spring and that might not be happening this year. They are talking about maple syrup prices going way up.