Happy Spring – it arrives this month on March 20th and I don’t think there has been a more anticipated arrival in years. After a very cold, very snowy winter, we are all ready for a little thaw, and maybe a flower or two.
The first real crop of the spring is Maple Sap! For the maple sap to run, the nights must be cold – below freezing- without being too cold. If the temperature falls too far below freezing, the sap will take too long to warm up the next morning, and will not run well.
Daytime temperatures are just as important. The temperatures during the day should be between 3 and 6 degrees Celsius. If the temperature doesn’t rise above freezing, the sap will not run at all. A month of ideal weather and it’s a good Maple season. If the warm weather comes too early then the season is cut short. This is the life of all farmers and Maple producers are not exempt.
Each year I provide readers list of locations offering an opportunity to visit, walk through the bush, and in some cases – enjoy a meal.
Domain Cleroux Maple Orchard (near Casselman) Two-hundred acres bed and breakfast with an apple orchard, sugar bush and sugar shack.
Fulton’s Pancake House & Sugar Bush (Pankenham / Mississippi Mills) Four hundred tranquil acres nestled in the heart of Lanark County. The Fulton family has been a steward of the forest for over 150 years, producing pure Canadian maple syrup.
The Log Farm / La Vieille Ferme (Nepean) A living history farm recreating life of the Bradley family farm as it was in the 1860s. Off Cedarview Road just south of Hunt Club.
Proulx Farm (Cumberland) In the business of farming and providing farm entertainment for its visitors since 1920. Now in the 3rd generation, the farm has a range of events and activities for visitors of all ages.
Richelieu Park (Vanier) Open Saturday and Sundays, and available by reservation during the week. This is Ottawa’s only urban sugar shack, and is located at the same place as the original sugar shack run by the White Fathers. Every year, 1,000 maple trees are tapped in the traditional way, producing up to 400 litres of maple syrup.
Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm (Edwards) Experience the authentic production of pure Canadian Maple Syrup – from horse drawn sap collection to taffy in the snow. The farm has been producing maple syrup since the 1800s.
Temple’s Sugar Bush (Ferguson Falls) Charles Temple started in the maple business in 1973 with 100 borrowed buckets, a borrowed flat pan evaporator and no clue of how to make maple syrup. Since then the operation has expanded to over 5,000 taps and magnificent old trees. Pancake House Between Carleton Place and Perth. They also host weddings, corporate retreats and special events year-round.
Thompsontown Maple Products (Lanark Highlands) is a 5,000 tap maple syrup operation located on a 350 acre farm in just a short drive from Ottawa and operated by the same family that roasts our Fair Trade coffee (Fluid Solar). They are located at 780 Black Rock Lane.
In or retail store we carry two maple products. Alska Farm produces organic maple syrup and we carry two sizes on ur shelves. For a special treat you can pick up a bottle of Kinsip whiskey barrel aged syrup. Prince Edward County syrup is aged in whiskey barrels, which infuses the syrup with a whisky ‘essence’ but does not contain alcohol.