At Beloit College, the new Slow Foods Club isn't the only institution with an interest in local foods. And it doesn't get any more local than this: For the last two years, Food Services Director Peter Kraemer has been brewing some sweet concoctions tapped from campus trees.
"Two years ago I went with my daughter's third-grade class to a maple syrup demonstration at Big Hill Park," Kraemer says. "When I returned to work I began doing a little research of my own and by the end of the day I had ordered spiles (the taps) and bottles and had a plan for filtering."
Currently, Kraemer has four trees tapped on campus, which have produced roughly 100 gallons of sap, which boils down to about a gallon-and-a-half of syrup. That syrup is now being used in Commons.
"I have 14 other trees tapped around town and I process everything together," Kraemer says. "Overall this year I estimate final production to be in the eight-gallon range."
This hobby has definitely piqued the campus community's interest, he says -- if you're curious about the process, you can stop by Commons and taste the sweet results for yourself.