Long winter but average year for local syrup producers

Photo taken at Barkleyvale Farms in Chesterville, Maple Weekend 2019. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

Kelsey Smith
Nation Valley News

NATION VALLEY — Spring has finally sprung and the maple syrup season has come to an end. Maple syrup producers in the area have confirmed that although the winter was longer than usual, their season remained average.

“The sap has really only run well these last two weeks; before that it was too cold,” said Jean Marc Levac of La Cabanes des Gars in Fournier.

Levac clarified that last year his season began in late February and ran through late April. This year only commenced in March and he was collecting the last of the sap today.

Below, scenes from a few local sugarbushes during Maple Weekend 2019, earlier this month.

Grampie’s Sugar Shack ceased production last week.

“Sap is still running but we stopped boiling last week,” said Debbie Linton of Grampie’s Sugar Shack in Chesterville.

Barkleyvale Farms owner Brian Barkley had a similar response. “Sap flows have continued this week, however, we have stopped processing and moved into cleanup mode, pulling spiles and flushing lines before really warm temperatures hit.”

The clean-up process is quite a job all on its own, especially for the larger producers like La Cabanes des Gars.

The Levacs have over 16,000 taps.

“It takes us about three weeks to get things cleaned up. We have three bushes and three pumping stations,” explained Jean Marc Levac.

The highest profile weekend for maple producers is, of course, Maple Weekend Sweet Ontario, which always takes place during the first weekend of April.

“We had a quite a few people here for Maple Weekend. More than last year I would say. The nicer weather probably helped with that,” said Linton. “We had a quite a few new ones, which was nice.”

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