Spring, 2015

Each and every year maple syrup producers and maple lovers alike wonder what the upcoming season will be like. There are so many theories on what makes a good or bad season, but what it all boils down to (pun intended!) is having warm days (+5ºC ideal) and cold nights (-5ºC ideal). In the winter of 2014, Mother Nature just did not give up as cold weather lingered on and on. March can often result in as many as 15 boils but in 2014 we had only boiled 4 times by month’s end; nerve wracking to say the least! Thankfully April remained cold at night and finally rose above 0ºC during the day, and not too drastically. After 10 consecutive days of collecting and boiling sap, between the two months, we had a good season overall. Never before has the majority of our production been in April.

For our 21st season, we have made some changes to our sap holding tanks in the sugar bush. Instead of three tanks, we now have one large tank – a predicted much appreciated change by the sap collector as she (sometimes he!) cleans the tanks after each day of collecting. In addition, the tractor will be towing a new trailer with a new sap transporting tank on it. Besides upgrading equipment, we ourselves are trying to keep in good form! Any leisure time this winter has been spent skiing or snowshoeing to keep fit – it seems likely that this winter’s snowfall will require us to wear snowshoes this spring to tap the maple bush.

NEW at the sugar house this year: Come meet the Parrots!! Crazy Crackers, Mad Max, Miss Molly and other beautiful parrots from Parrot Partner (a registered charity) will be on site for an interactive, educational experience. Posed parrot photos available: your camera with a suggested $3.00 donation. NEW in the maple shop this year: homemade maple butter tarts by Annie. And the traditional events of taffy on snow and the church’s delicious pancake breakfast will be available again this year. Last but not least, sharing another delicious maple recipe with you thanks to Foodland Ontario:

Apple Pie French Toast
10 cups cubed (1 inch) egg bread     6 eggs
3 cups diced apples     3 cups milk
2 tbsp. packed brown sugar     1/3 cup Gibbons pure maple syrup
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon     1 tbsp. vanilla

Using vegetable oil, lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch (3L) glass baking dish. Spread half of the bread in dish. In medium bowl, toss together apples, sugar and cinnamon; scatter half over bread. Top with remaining bread and apples. In same bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, maple syrup and vanilla; pour over bread mixture. Press down gently with spatula to coat in liquid. Let stand for 30 minutes (make ahead: cover and refrigerate overnight. Let stand at room temperature while preheating oven). Bake in 350ºF oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until golden brown and egg mixture is set. Serves 8.

Don’t forget to drizzle more maple syrup on top; enjoy!

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Gibbons Family Farm
41 Leacock Road, RR 1
Frankville, Ontario
K0E 1H0

For more information:
Tel: 613-275-2893
Toll Free 1-877-440-7887

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