Enjoying a horse ride through the sugar bush
Maple Weekend celebrations took place on April 6 and 7 across Ontario. Hosted by the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers’ Association, the event is in its fourth year. Local maple syrup farms across SDG and Prescott Russell participated in the fun. Many visitors to Sand Road Maple Farm in Moose Creek took time during their visit to enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride. O’Donohue photo
CHESTERVILLE – This winter has been a particularly cold one. It seems like every week there’s been a new weather alert, telling us about a new snow storm, freezing rain warning or both. Thankfully, Ontario’s Maple Weekend, held this year throughout the weekend of Sat., April 6 and Sun., April. 7, is a constant welcoming milestone for the residents of Dundas County that spring is on its way.
The annual event gave locals, for the fourth time, an opportunity to visit the farms and see first hand how maple products are produced; from the sap of a tree all the way to your breakfast pancakes and waffles.
While this year has given producers a good harvest, Brian Barkley, co-owner of Barkleyvale Farms, said that there was no beating the good fortune that last year brought. “It’s certainly been interesting because last year we started our first boil approximately the 26 of February, and this year we started on March 26,” he said. “It’s just been a colder year with a lot more snow and ice. The flows have also been more sporadic but we’ve had some good flows and the season is not over yet with lots of snow in the bush. Last year was really just an exceptional year because historically, in all the years there’s been a sugar bush, there’s never been a year like last year.”
Maple Weekend was celebrated at 12 different sugarbushes across SDG and Prescott Russell including Barkleyvale Farms; Peak Forest Farms; Sand Road Maple Farm; On the Bend Sugar Shack; Cassburn Sweets; La Cabane Des Gars; Erablière Souligny; Grampies Sugar Shack, Proulx Maple & Berry Farm; La Sucrerie à Frank Sugar Shack; Wightman Sugar Bush and Cabane à Sucre Rollin Sugar Shack.