However, going to the maple sugar bush now is not the same experience that I remember as a kid. Back then, you went for a walk in the bush and had fun checking for and tasting the sweet sap in the buckets that were hanging from the trees.
Then, you would sit outside while they poured thick maple taffy onto a plate of snow, and after you ate that you visited the sugar shack where a huge vat of maple tree sap boiled over a wood fire.
Of course you can still go for a walk through the bush. But the buckets hanging from the trees are no longer there.
Plastic hose runs from tree to tree.
It used to be that horses, and then tractors would drive through the bush with people manually collecting the sap from the buckets. Now, all the tree sap is collected via plastic tubing that drips down to huge vat near the sugar shack where it is boiled by very fancy wood pellet equipment.
Canada produces 80% of the world's supply of maple syrup. To put that in perspective for our American neighbors, the state of Vermont produces only 5% of the world's supply.
We went to Wheeler's Pancake House yesterday. They have a beautiful big building where they supply meals of pancakes and sausage with an unlimited supply of maple syrup. It was pretty quiet when we were there, but I would guess it's a very busy place on the weekends.
Beautiful big pancake house.
Tony (Ruth's dad) and Ruth.
Big fluffy gluten free pancakes.
The meal was good, but at $4.75 CAD ($3.80 USD) per pancake, I thought it was a little overpriced. I guess we're just out of touch. But then, there was all of that unlimited supply of maple syrup to put on the pancakes. Maybe some people go overboard. I know I tried to!
What are you lookin' at?
After lunch, we went to check out the production area. It's very much a family business at Wheelers. Vern Wheeler has been making maple syrup here for almost 60 years, and his son and daughters are all part of the business. They've bought some new equipment lately, and it's all coming online this season...
Wow. Fancy looking machinery to boil sap!
Vern was an interesting guy to talk to.
Vern spent a few minutes talking to us. I bet this guy knows everything there is to know about maple syrup! He's got about 20,000 trees on the property, but not all of them are tapped. Each tree produces about 40 litres of sap during the season, and it takes approximately 40 litres of sap to make one litre of maple syrup. (One litre is approximately equal to one quart in the U.S.)
And then of course there are a lot of maple syrup products for sale.
Unfortunately, it's not the cheapest place to buy your maple syrup. A one liter container was going for over $20, and we can buy the exact same item at a local Walmart for $13. I'm afraid Walmart would be getting our business. However we did buy a little maple sugar candy. :-)
All in all though, a fun outing and it was something to do to get out of the house.
Oh...kind of odd, but they also have a chainsaw museum at this place. Why? Who knows?
The chainsaw museum.
Everything you wanted to know about chainsaws.
Okay. But why?
Whatever turns your crank. I would prefer to collect cars. Or single malt scotch!
The folding camping table that we use with the motorhome is on sale at Amazon...great deal for a useful product. We like ours, and it's come in handy many times...