First Run

Old man winter is finally relenting!  Have you ever seen snow melt as fast as it did on Sunday??? It was t-shirt temperatures with property destruction-level winds up here and a whole lot of snow got turned into water so fast it overwhelmed our culverts and ditches and there was pretty well standing water everywhere.  I hope your basements all survived!

The good news of all of that is that we have enough eggs around to offer them for sale again!

The warm weather also brought our first run of maple this season.  It’s unfortunate that it got so warm so quickly as it was not a terribly large run.   It is the transition from frozen to thawed that lets the sap down out of the tree, and when it happens very quickly the run doesn’t last that long. So we took advantage of it anyway to get everything up and running and made a small batch of syrup – so we have some syrup for sale (500ml and 2L bottles – very limited supply!)

We post these images every year to remind ourselves and our customers of how subtle and dynamic maple syrup can really be.  If you’re used to buying maple syrup from Costco or the grocery store, you would be more familiar with a broad, general maple flavour: those products are blended from many different batches of syrup.  Different farms, years, runs and grades are mixed to produce a consistent product.

When buying syrup from a small producer however, you will often get syrup made from a single run of sap and thus very reflective of that specific bush, that specific day and also that specific sugarmaker.  Believe it or not, the colour and flavour of maple can change dramatically over the season.  This is related not only to the metabolism of the trees, but also to how the sap is handled and how clean the equipment is: later in the season pipelines, tanks and so on get gradually contaminated with microorganisms, contributing to the the darker colour and stronger flavour of later syrup.

The death knell of the syrup season though is when the trees finally come out of dormancy and break their buds.  At this point the syrup becomes inedible.  I’ve never tasted proper “buddy” syrup, but apparently it is some kind of combination of metal and medicine that’s impossible to swallow.  Maybe this will be the year I try it!   All that being said, this first small batch of syrup is high on the “Vegetal” side of flavours and might be a good place to start if you’re not used to farmgate maple.

Next week is March break, and the weather looks favourable for maple sap and boiling. Please shoot us an email/call if you’d like to drop by. We’d love to see you and your family!

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