The Place: Maplewood, Nova Scotia
The Treasure: Maple Syrup
We woke up on the weekend to find Treasure Bear thumping on the door like a zombie and moaning “syyyyrruuup” – I think this was a hint.
We packed up and headed for the beautiful south shore and a place we’ve been visiting for a few years – Maplewood Maple Syrup Farm.
Even though we’d tapped a couple of our own trees this year we were running dangerously low on maple syrup. This qualifies under some emergency measures act I’m sure!
Rex Veinot and family come from a line of maple syrup producers, both his grandfather and father were producers. Their farm has about 3000 taps and a capacity of 5000 or so.
Treasure Bear soaking up the sun before entering the sugar shack:
On this particular day we showed up Rex was packaging some freshly made maple cream. We got to sample some. That’s right. Fresh, literally just made, maple cream. I will now pause to allow jealousy.
Yeah we bought some. 🙂
The first thing you see when you enter the sugar shack is the evaporator. This is where the magic happens. It takes 40 litres of sap to boiled down to 1 litre of syrup. This holds way more than that and produces way more than that. I’m good with numbers and stuff.
The evaporator is wood fired and that wood comes from the acreage where they have won the woodlot owner of the year twice – once in 1996 and once in 2009.
It’s a real treat to visit when they’re boiling down the syrup. The smell of maple and wood smoke blend fantastically while Rex gives out samples of syrup. Marketing move? Yes. Effective? Oh yes. Pretty sure it’s a rule that you can’t leave without trying some, possibly a by-law.
Syrup sampling takes place across from what I like to call “the shrine”:
It’s always a pleasure to talk with Rex and hear how the season went or is going, depending on when we can get there. His knowledge is evident and the pride in his product makes each visit special. This year it felt good to talk to him about our experiences in syrup making and get his feedback on it.
On this particular trip we didn’t have enough time to walk the grounds like we did the year before but next time we go we’ll make sure to do a full report on it. It’s really special to be amonst the trees that are producing sap which will become syrup that you can buy here.
As we headed out Treasure Bear protested, climbed half way up the sugar shack and refused to come down:
Why? Treasure Bear wanted to go on a wagon ride, despite us saying it wasn’t the right time of year:
Treasure Bear eventually relented and we headed home. Maple syrup rich and happy that we’d have enough to make it through till next season. Unless we or Treasure Bear go on a maple syrup bender which is entirely possible. In which case we’ll be back!
And yes, since I know you’re wondering, the maple cream DID make it home and lasted nearly a day and a half. New record.
Maplewood Maple Syrup Farm produces a fantastic, local, sustainable product that’s very good for you. Give them a call, drop by, have a sample and support them.
Here is the current weather and a map to help you plan your trip:
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