Recently my five year old son has been asking to put maple syrup on just about everything and even to drink it on it’s own. It seemed obvious that we needed to take our annual trip to the Kortright Centre for Conservation for their Maple Syrup Festival (running until April 10th).
First order of business upon arrival, the maple syrup sucker. This sucker is made from pure maple syrup, heated about 15 degrees higher than the temperature needed to make syrup and put into a maple leaf shaped mold to harden. With sucker in hand it was off to the horse drawn wagon ride, which never fails to please. Still with sucker in hand we went to join one of the three daily guided Sugarbush tours. I wasn’t sure how engaged my son would be to hear about the necessary weather conditions for sap flow, the process of tapping maple trees, the historical methods of collecting the sap, including the methods of our Native Canadians as well as the methods of the early European settlers up to modern day methods. But he was all over it, front and centre and asking some rather insightful questions along the way. The hour or so long tour was very interesting and included demonstrations and, of course, samples.
It was a little chilly, which is actually not ideal for the maple syrup season. In order for the sap to flow the days need to be a bit warmer (above zero) and the nights cold. Since the days have still been rather chilly, the sap is not flowing as freely, and we needed to warm up after the tour. Fortunately, inside the Kortright Centre there is a theatre where they have children’s performers and a spot where you have buy some pancakes and drown them in maple syrup. After a bit of dancing around on the stage with the afternoon musical act, we were warm and ready to head home after a fantastic day.
Sugarbush season is still on for another couple of weeks, so check out one close to you! http://www.ontariomaple.com/
- Elissa Hermolin