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Made in Michiana: Volinia Maple

Decatur, Mich. -- A project first started in 2001, is now giving students at an alternative school important life lessons all while they learn the ins and outs of the maple syrup business.

The school nearly Volinia Maple last year, but thanks to the return of teacher and Michiana native Justin Kline, the program just like the students is getting a second chance.Volinia maple comes from the hard work of these students at Volinia Outcomes School.

There are life lessons under the leadership of teacher Justin Kline who himself is a rookie when it comes to maple syrup.

The farm and property in Decatur is land that they rent from Michigan State University.

Between February and April, as long as the temperatures stay above freezing, students help manufacture and then sell the maple syrup produced.

"This is our sugar shack, it runs off diesel fuel. I can fire it up for you. What does this do? It takes all of the sap and keeps boiling it down and reducing more and more out of it until it becomes maple syrup,” said Kline.

When the trees are producing production, meaning tree to bottle, it can take as little as one day.

"The end goal? To learn business skills, personal responsibility and to get outdoors! What do you do with the maple syrup? Oh we put it on pancakes, it's great!” Said Kline.

And of course, pancakes are included in this maple syrup process.

"I like the part where we had a festival. It was called MapleFest. And we made pancakes and sausages and corn muffins for everyone. We had a lot of people show up. I was glad that we were able to see the smile on people's faces,” said Angel, student at Marcellus Volinia Outcomes.

If you are interested in purchasing some of their maple syrup, they have a limited supply available in these three sizes. You can contact the school for prices and availability at 269-782-9716.

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