As the snow finally begins to disappear and winter finally leaves us for another year, there is one thing that people in Eastern Ontario look forward to as we go through the awkward, muddy spring thaw days – Maple Syrup Season. The mild days and cool nights are what help make the sap run, and in those few weeks where we transition from winter to spring, our local farmers are working overtime to get every drop tapped, boiled and bottled.
On the first weekend of April, sugar bushes all across Ontario will be taking part in Maple Weekend. It’s an opportunity to see exactly what goes into making the sweet golden syrup, and a chance to buy from local farmers as well. In the Brockville area, we’re lucky to have three local sugar bushes taking part in this event – Golden Moments, Quabbin Hill, and Gibbons Family Farm.
Gibbons Family Farm
The day starts early, with breakfast beginning at 8am. Check out the pancake breakfast first at Frankville Church Hall, and then swing by Gibbons at 9am for maple taffy on snow and to see the sap boiled down to syrup (weather conditions permitting). Gibbons uses just under 5000 taps and uses a combination traditional and modern techniques to boil down the sap into their famous maple syrup.
Golden Moments Farm
Next on our Maple Weekend is Golden Moments Farm. A 15 minute drive from Gibbons, Golden Moments Farm is a photographers dream. Not only does the farm tap over 1200 trees to make maple syrup that is environmentally friendly and organic, but they raise Clydesdale horses and breed Golden Retrievers. As you get to walk around a sample of their 350 acres of land, there are many photography opportunities. Song birds such as the Blue Bunting have been seen in their white pine forest during the summer, and the dogs and horses always make for good photography subjects. As well, coffee, hot chocolate, and maple glazed doughnuts will be available through the weekend.
Quabbin Hill Farm
Last but not least, travel 30 minutes south from Golden Moments to go visit Quabbin Hill Farm. This small and rustic sugar bush has been producing maple syrup for over 25 years, and will guarantee that you will be able to try maple taffy on snow – they have been saving up snow in their freezer all winter for this event! Quabbin Hill Farm will also be serving an outdoor breakfast from 8am, so if you want to reverse the order of these three locations, you’re going to be on time for breakfast no matter what! Make sure you check out their blueberry infused maple syrup as well.
Make sure you take advantage of the excellent weather being projected for this coming weekend, April 6th to 7th 2019, and check out all that our area has to offer in terms of all things maple! The maple syrup season is short, so take advantage of this great weekend event.