Saturday, 17 March 2012

The Maple Sugar Bush

    Today was an absolutely beautiful day.  It was unseasonably warm, and the sun was shining, in other words, life is good.  It was also a perfect day for a road trip.  Christopher had to work to day, so I loaded up the kids, and then picked up my mom and dad, and we headed off to Madoc.  We traveled up a muddy dirt road and made our way to O'Hara Sugar Maples.  This sugar bush is owned by friends of ours, Heather and Steve Needham.  It has been many years since we've been there.  What a change!
    When you think about maple sugar you think of the old tin buckets hanging from the trees.  The poor farmer would have to walk out to every tree, remove the bucket, dump the bucket into a larger receptacle, and then rehang the tin bucket.  I can only imagine the pain they went to bed with that night.
The old method is gone, well at least for the "big boys".  As we drove up the long, long drive to the sugar shack we saw hundreds of metres of blue tubing.  It was like some insane spider.

    All of the tubes fed eventually to the sugar shack.  It is an amazing set up.  Inside the shack is a holding tank that looks like it is full of water, but it is not water, it's sap.
This is sap! This was not even all the sap, there was another holding tank!

  Heather showed the kids every part of the maple syrup operation.  I personally was most interested in how they determine the syrup's grade, very interesting.  Who knew syrup had to be graded?
Heather held the syrup up to the light.

    The kid's favourite part of the whole visit... samples.  We sampled maple syrup, and maple butter (we bought both).  Thanks to Heather's sampling, Elly thinks that maple butter should be eaten like pudding and insisted on having a bowl of it, and further insisted in using the popsickle stick that she had saved.

    We had a really fun afternoon.  The lovely maple syrup inspired tonight's dinner.

Pancakes from scratch, breakfast sausage and of course the star of the show...
O'Hara Sugar Maples Maple Syrup, YUM!

If you would like to find out more information about O'Hara Sugar Maples, 
go to facebook and look them up.


  1. We had a lovely time with you and the kids at Heather and Steve,s Sugar Bush<I new I liked maple sugar but the erge to stick a straw in the bottle I bought is very strong.I now know I love Maple Sugar .The kids were cute in the pictures,thanks for asking us to go.

  2. This looks like so much fun! I absolutely love pure maple syrup, love your pictures!

  3. Thanks, it's a really economic and educational, but most of all fun day out!