Save the Date: Maple in the Township Returns April 8th

Photo Karen Graham.
The Brackenridge family welcomes visitors to watch them turn sap into syrup at last years’s Maple event.

A group of local Maple Syrup producers are joining forces to host another Maple Day on April 8th.   All participating producers will open the doors to their sugar shacks between the hours of 10:00am and 4:00pm and invite you to come with your family to walk a sugar bush and watch as they transform maple sap into a nutritious and delicious natural sweetener.

With a sweeping southeast exposure along the Oak Ridge Moraine, Johnston’s sugar bush is located on County Rd. 28 just off the southeast corner of the township.  Maple products are just one of the many locally produced food items that Craig and Marrisa Johnston sell at their market stand which is open most of the year.  Maple syrup production began as a hobby for Craig has evolved over the past 25 years and now they tap 1000 sugar maples.  This family operated farm welcomes visitors to come out and explore the sugar house, maple production practices and demonstrations, sampling maple products and the green house.

Puddleduck Farm, operated by Merridy Senior and Eben Hancock, is entering their 8th season this year.  They operate the Kennedy sugar bush, located south of the village of Millbrook on County Rd. 10, to produce maple products. They sell their syrup, maple butter and maple candies from their farm on Glamorgan Rd. and at the Millbrook Farmers’ Market.

J&K Sugar Shack, operated by Joan and Keith Schultz, is another small family run business On Challice Line south of the village of Millbrook.  They began producing for their own consumption but soon turned their maple syrup operation into a small business. There will be confections and baked goods available at their sugar bush.

Squirrel Creek Farm’s Syrup by Siblings is operated by the 4th generation of syrup producers in the family. Weather permitting, visitors to this operation located on Brackenridge Dr. west of Bailiboro will see sap turned into syrup using traditional wood heat.  The family will also be serving up pancakes and sausage in the barn for $10.00 for adults and $5 for children aged 6 to 13.  Proceeds from these meals will support a young people’s group mission trip to Dominican scheduled for February 2019.

Located on Deyell Line is Sugar Rush Maple Bush, which is a new operation for the Poulin family.  Visit their woods and see sap running down the tap lines, and weather permitting, visitors will be embraced by smell the sweet aroma of sap being turned into syrup.

Staples Maple Syrup is an award winning, federally inspected producer located harvesting sap from 3600 taps on their family farm on Hwy 7A between Cavan and Bethany.  The Stapes family has been making maple syrup on the farm since 1813, but their production methods are anything but antiquated.  The wood stove has been replaced by an industrial sized oil-fired steel evaporator and a sophisticated reverse osmosis system.  Try some delicious homemade treats when you stop by to see this sugar shack in action.

Another long-time syrup produce is Woodleigh Farms operated by the Winslow family.  This active, 4th generation farm located on Sharpe Line in Cavan added maple syrup to their operation in 1988. Their syrup house is easily accessible and will be offering visitors maple treats.

At the northern part of the township on Bland Line in Mount Pleasant visitors can drop into MT. Wilson, a family hobby operation started in 2006 with roots stretching back more than a century.

Producers are keeping their fingers crossed for maple-friendly weather with mild days and cool nights to ensure a good harvest and fast flowing sap for the event.  On April 8th, spend some time with a few of our local producers to see how maple syrup is made and secure your own stash of fresh, local maple syrup products.  KG

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