Although I was born and have lived in this region much of my life, I had never before visited 'the sugarbush'. This year I decided it was time I experienced it. In March we visited Matthew's Maple Syrup.
Entry sign at Matthew's Maple Syrup on a mild, sunny day! From the left, our youngest child Victoria, myself and DH, David.
This is the syrup processing barn. Matthew's uses reverse osmosis for most of the condensing of the sap into syrup. The final process is a heat process. Inside the barn there is also a shop where visitors can purchase maple syrup, maple candy, maple sugar, maple jellies, sauces and more.
Under the blue canopy, Mrs. Matthew's poured syrup onto a tray of ice and we twirled it onto small wooden paddles to create a toffee pop. It was delicious!!!
This is the way the trees are tapped, into a miles long web of gravity drained lines. These lead into the larger gravity fed main line.
Historically, sap was collected in buckets hanging on taps, which would be put in anew, with a hand drill, each season. It was quite an undertaking in a large operation. The sap would be collected in a huge tank, pulled around on a sled, by work horses. Then it would be brought to a boiler which was fueled by a wood fire. It would have been gruelling work! This photo is of Matthew's Opening Tree Tapping Ceremony this year. This gentleman is drilling a tap hole.
Installing the tap.
Hanging the sap bucket.
Old fashioned sap boiling. That kettle was constantly at a rollicking, rolling boil, fuelled by a roaring, wood fire.
Push and Shove, mother and son sleigh horses. Both stunningly magnificent!
Sugar Bush sleigh ride pulled by Push and Shove. Historically, this sled would be pulling the sap tank, not visitors!
New Friends! Victoria and Push.
Visit Matthew's Maple Syrup at http://matthewsmaple.com for more information about the history and operation of their sugar bush, maple syrup and their products.
If you get the opportunity to visit a sugar bush, take advantage of it. Making maple syrup is a practice that is centuries old and no matter how it is done, it is part magic and completely amazing!
Prints, cards and other items featuring some of my photographs from our adventure will be available at http://www.zazzle.com/dequilla*.
Following our visit to Matthew's, we tapped the maple trees on our property and I made my own maple syrup! But that's another post . . . stay tuned! ;D