MAPLE LOVERS NEWSLETTER
I don’t think there is a single maple syrup producer in Ontario who could have predicted that a warm start to a maple syrup production season would result in an above average season. Warm weather is usually a sign that the season is coming to an end. Well, our 2016 production season is yet another one for the record books. It started off with numerous warm days and warm nights; we had our vacuum pumps running around the clock to collect whatever sap there was (without freezing at night, the sap runs poorly). And then to our disbelief, as the month of March drew to an end, the weather became cold and on the last weekend of March (Easter weekend) we had never seen so much sap. To the point that we actually had to shut the pumps off for a few hours as all of our sap storage tanks were full! We were boiling as fast as we could. In a 36 hour time period we boiled 27 hours; we were tired. Freezing cold temperatures moved in the first week of April; we were all on the edge of our seats waiting to see if the sap would flow again. It did not. The frogs came out on the first warm day in April and were singing their little hearts out. When the frogs sing, maple syrup production is over and Bill jumps on his bicycle!
So to say the least, I have finally come to realize that no matter the myths, predictions or signs of a season, I can only guarantee what the production season will be like after the season has occurred. Therefore for 2017, no predictions, just a wish for a safe and bountiful spring harvest.
We welcome you to visit our sugar house at any time throughout the season. However, Saturdays are filled with extra activities. Returning events: pancake breakfast at the church hall in the village, followed by taffy on snow (free) at the sugar house. New Saturday visitors to the sugar house this year: the Elizabethtown-Kitley Fire Department will be on site with their trucks. Christine, a professional face painter is ready to paint your face ($). Look for Sarah with a maple leaf on her face to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday this year. And last but not least, the animals! Alpaca Tracks T(h)read Lightly will be on site with alpacas, education, demos and why not take home a pair of alpaca wool socks. West Winds Ranch returns with a farm animal petting zoo and pony rides ($). Complete details can be found on our Events page and Pancake Breakfast page.
And we have a new look! Our glass maple syrup containers now proudly wear a new custom-made label which incorporates our business name – Gibbons Family Farm. We like it and we hope you do too.
The international grading system is now in place. A friendly reminder on the four grades of maple syrup:
|Canada Grade A Golden, Delicate Taste
Canada Grade A Amber, Rich Taste
Canada Grade A Dark, Robust Taste
Canada Grade A Very Dark, Strong
Wishing you a ‘Sweet Ontario’ spring!
- Sarah Gibbons
View past issues of the newsletter
Brockville Recorder & Times newspaper articles on:
The 2016 maple syrup season
The 2013 maple syrup season
The 2012 maple syrup season
Gibbons Family Farm
41 Leacock Road, RR 1
For more information:
Toll Free 1-877-440-7887