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Eastern Ontario Maple Syrup Production

There is a time in Eastern Ontario during early spring when  the temperature oscillates 
day and night between being above 0 degrees during the day and below freezing  at night.

It is the time when there is usually still snow on the ground, no pesky bugs and the sun rays
bouncing off the snow is bright enough to send local residents scurrying to the retail stores
to buy sun glasses to protect their eyes from the glaring sun.  

Annual Weather Summary

November 2022 to October 2023
Winter will be colder than normal, with above-normal precipitation and snowfall. The coldest periods will be in mid- and late November, early and late December, early and late January, and late February. The snowiest periods will be in late November, early December, and mid-January. On average, April and May temperatures will be near normal, with slightly above-normal precipitation.

It is also the time when maple sap starts to flow from the trees to wood fired evaporators 
changing almost transparent sap into the golden sweet maple syrup which is Eastern Ontario's
first crop of every year.  Sap collection and subsequent boiling has happened a long time
since the first settlers located here some 300 years ago.

Maple syrup on North America is graded under the following colour classifications

Item Colour Class Taste Descriptor Percentage of Light Transmission
1. Golden Delicate Taste 75% or more
2. Amber Rich Taste 50% or more but less than 75%
3. Dark Robust Taste 25% or more but less than 50%
4. Very Dark Strong Taste Less than 25%

In Ontario, it is produced under Regulation 119 Ontario Maple Syrup Regulations

tdc's FarmGate went out with the 1st Sydenham Ontario's Beaver Troop and their
family and friends to "Maple Madness"  at the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area 
in Kingston Ontario Canada to find out what making maple syrup is all about.  

We offer this photo essay to help the world understand why people who live in this area
feel passionately that maple syrup production is part of their heritage.

Maple trees being tapped as they were 20 years ago.
They seem a lot more photogenic than the blue sap lines of today 

Taping trees and the process of making maple syrup was passed on to the white settlers from
 the aboriginal people who lived in Eastern Ontario.  No one knows when the first person leaned how to do this, but there is a legend that an aboriginal threw his tomahawk into a tree and the sap
began to flow.   This was collected and boiled down to a sweet liquid.

Water in a stream is starting to flow which
indicates that it is time to start tapping trees

We are off on the wagons to the 
Sugar Bush 

On the Wagons 

The Sugar Shack at the Conservation Area

Our Interpreter told us that Aboriginals first boiled the sap
by putting hot stones into cut open logs

Settlers started with caldron boiling the sap

Flat pan boiling improved the results

A modern sap tapping distribution system

We tasted sap as it came out of a tree

Even today we use lots of wood to provide
fuel to evaporate the sap

A modern evaporator today is used
to evaporate sap

Inside the pancake house - Image recorded 2011

Outside Eating Pancakes - Yum, Yum!!

Some Links

Maple syrup could help fight bacterial infections, Canadian scientists find

Maple Syrup a Super Food

Typical Nutritional Values for 100 grams of Maple Syrup

Pancakes, Waffles and Maple Syrup Recipes
Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority

Ontario Maple Syrup Producers

The Maple Syrup Industry in Ontario
Answers to Commonly Asked Questions and References 

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