With the sun shining and the temperatures rising, one can only dream that Spring is nearing in Elgin County. Until then, we can get through the last of winter by indulging in all things maple!
Maple syrup season typically runs between the end of February and into late March, when the weather conditions are ideal for sap collection. When the nights dip below freezing and the days become slightly warmer, this allows for the tree sap to flow. The warmer temperatures in the day let the tree sap that was once stored in the tree’s roots meander up to the tree trunk, where the tree is then tapped and sap is collected.
Once the sap has been collected producers then boil it down which causes any access water to evaporate. The boiling process transforms the sap into a dense and sweet consistency until it becomes what we know as maple syrup. For every 40 litres of sap boiled, it only creates 1 litre of maple syrup.
Several producers even take this process a step further to create maple products such as maple candy, maple sugar, or even maple butter. Elgin is fortunate to have not one but five maple syrup producers in our County. Tap into Elgin’s Maple Trail to discover the various historical methods of producing maple syrup from local maple connoisseurs, or take home a sweet treat to savour long after your maple adventure.
For over 75 years the spring air at Aldred Maple Products has been filled with the sweet smell of sap steam coming from the old sugar shack, boiling down the Maple sap to a beautiful Golden Syrup for the family’s own use and the enjoyment of many local neighbours. Now you too can enjoy their maple syrup by visiting their sugar shack and purchasing local Maple Syrup.
Palmer’s Maple Syrup is proudly owned and operated, since 1956, and has been producing Premium Ontario Maple Syrup ever since. Visit them during March Break or on weekends in March for their annual maple syrup shanty events and breakfasts.
With 1100 taps, Our Sugar Bush is a family operated maple sugar bush that has been around for more than 40 years! It all started with a sugar bush, a log cabin, and a love to make maple syrup. Visit them during the maple syrup season to enjoy local maple syrup throughout the year.
Rodgers Maple Syrup is located 3km west of Port Stanley and has tapped 2,500 trees to produce high-quality maple syrup, fudge, and maple butter for all of you maple lovers out there! Stop by to purchase their maple goods and have a tour of their operations.
Make this March sweet with Springwater Conservation Area's Maple Syrup Festival. Enjoy wagon rides throughout the Springwater Forest. Tour the old-fashioned sugar shanty for demonstrations on maple syrup production. Purchase maple products or dine at their pancake house for a culinary delight which is operated by local community organizations.
Pure maple syrup is 100% free of artificial flavours and additives, making it a natural sweetener. It can be used as a sugar substitute, as a glaze on meats or vegetables, in desserts, and of course, as a topping for a stack of fluffy pancakes.
Some of our local businesses even produce Maple products to tap into the maple season.
Quai du Vin Estate Winery makes Maple Wine, with locally sourced sap that is partially evaporated to preserve the golden colour and sweet aroma of maple sap.
Maple honey and maple honey spread can be found at Clovermead Adventure Farm’s Honey Shop, just north of Aylmer, On.
Awaken your senses with the sweet smells of maple syrup by purchasing Anything Used & Sparta Country Candles’ Sugar Shack candle. Get there soon, as this scent is the best seller in March!
Picard’s Peanuts offers peanut lovers not only savoury treats but sweet maple caramel popcorn that will leave you wanting more.
With the days getting longer and the weather getting warmer, Shaw’s Ice Cream is the perfect place to stop and indulge in their C-150 and Maple Walnut Ice Cream, which sources local maple syrup.
The possibilities are endless for your maple adventures in Elgin County. For more information about Elgin’s Maple Trail, visit www.elgintourist.com/mapletrail.