Maple syrup season is upon us!

Image result for maple syrup sugar shack

Tapping and maple syrup season is here, based on weather at least!

I heard from my pal “imacdon” who was already tapping last weekend, and I’ll be heading out to my garage shortly to gather the spouts and pails for our own little operation.

My daughter Grace and I produced a whopping 1 litre of syrup last spring from just two trees. Not a ton but still fun.

Ahhhh, there is nothing quite like maple syrup production, and I have spent more years than I can recall with my Dad working the sugar bush at the Arundel Natural Science School. Times I will never forget..not easy work, mind you, but extremely rewarding and tasty.

What a blast it was – laying lines, repairing breaks, tapping, watching the evaporator, taking-off the syrup and running the old creaky canner. The entire operation is a blast right down to the moment when that batch of syrup is ready to harvest…man, it tastes awesome when its warm, doesn’t it?

There is a true science involved in any maple syrup operation; from understanding maple sap’s sugar content at various times of the season, knowing the colour, taste and density of different syrup grades, to understanding basic things such as building (and maintaining) the perfect fire to keep your evaporator going strong. Its not as easy as its sounds.

Then there’s moment when the ‘webbing starts’ at precisely 7 degrees above boiling point of water, and your pure maple syrup is ripe for the picking (or pouring I should say)

Old school syrup producers have never used modern gauges and I’m sure never worried about it either. They can read more in the webbing off their ladle than a thousand sophisticated gauges could that is science in itself.

The final product, well, it is a thing of beauty and there is really nothing in the world that compares to the taste of fresh maple syrup, or taffy on snow. Canada produces over 90% of the WORLD’S supply of maple syrup(majority produced in QC and eastern ON) – a statistic we should be extremely proud of. 

Maple syrup production is a big part of our heritage just like hunting, fishing or the fur industry. 

So, get out there and enjoy some pure Canadian goodness!! The forecast looks good for sap to run over the next few days and lets hope favorable temperatures remain long enough for another great season! (Last spring btw was one of the best syrup seasons in recent memory)

Now, out to my garage I go to gather some equipment..and then wake my daughter up!



5 thoughts on “Maple syrup season is upon us!”

  1. Hello Jeff
    Great write-up on Maple syrup production.
    Wow! Correct me if I am wrong but is this some kind of record to be collecting sap in February. Isn’t it usually like mid to late March and even onto April when the Sap starts running from the maples?

  2. I think I have tapped twice before in February. Last year was March 8th. Have had 3 boils so far. Boiled 200 gallons of sap. Made 20L of syrup.Geese started flying overhead on Friday
    Now that’s early. Looks like we are headed into another freeze up.

  3. lots of sap running near almonte and the valley also large amounts of geese flying at all times of the day and night

  4. Yes it’s early this year, but not long ago (2012) I did start tapping on the 12th of Feb. Our bush is south of the city of Ottawa between Spencerville and Roebuck on county rd 21. We are the oldest continues run sugar bushes in Ontario ( since 1802 ).I am the 8th generation, my granddaughter is the 10th. We have 1800 taps that we look after and we are the only bush in this area that processes our sap with high pressure steam. This week looks to be a slow do to the cold weather but we should be back into it Saturday.

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