At the Maple Syrup Festival yesterday at Elmira, my friends and I joined the Maple Syrup Sugar Bush Tour just outside the township. It cost us $5.50 each which included transportation to and from the sugar bush. The weather was already a bit windy when we decided to go and we were dressed like it’s late Spring. The weather forecast, as usual, was wrong.
A yellow school bus transported us to the outskirts of the town. Ontario’s countryside in Winter/early Spring is barren, brown naked and ugly. The plains go as far as the eyes can see.
Eight minutes later, we were dropped off at a farm with huge warehouses and tree logs were piled up neatly everywhere for firewood. A waiting farm tractor stood by, ready to haul us to the sugar bush on the narrow, muddy road. We sat comfortably on bundled, solid hays.
Can you believe that bottles and bottles of maple syrup are made in this shanty? It’s dingy and small, that’s why only few visitors can go in at the same time and two people were tasked to do the explaining on the process on how the maple syrup is made.
Obviously, the sap is tapped from the maple tree. A covered bucket is attached to it to store the sap that goes out from the tree through the metal spile. The sap drips like an IV bottle you see in hospitals. And it’s already sweet!
After harvesting, the sap is put into a boiling tank. The sap goes through long and narrow pan for evaporation process. As the sap boils, water evaporates and it becomes thicker, condensed and sweeter.
The sap is boiled using firewood. The whole process would only last for an hour and a half! That short? LOL… Doing the turkey on Thanksgiving Day is way much longer, eh?
Our transport. This is so cool. Literally and figuratively. LOL..
While lining up to get inside the sugar house, the lads let me hold the stick to whisk the popcorn in this huge cauldron. I felt like a witch trying to decipher the complexity of why the corns pop. LOL…
On our way back to the main street where the school bus dropped us, a horse carriage with the Mennonites sped fast past us.