Sugar Bush Adventures
It’s Spring in Ontario, which means, Tiz the season for the yummy goodness of one of Canadas biggest traditions. It’s Maple Syrup season friends. And what a wonderful treat for us this year, as we are in the Maple Syrup capitol.
It’s pretty incredible just how many sugar bushes there are around us. For those who may be unfamiliar with the term, sugar bush or sugar shacks are farms of sugar, red or black Maple trees. These Maple trees store starch in their trunks, and in the early spring time when it is still cold, they convert the starch into sugar that rises up the tree. The trees are then tapped to extract the sap, and said sap is then evaporated to eliminate most of the water. This evaporation process leaves a thicker, more concentrated syrup. Hence… Maple Syrup.
To say our kiddos love maple syrup would be an understatement. Let’s just say, their favourite breakfasts (or dinners) include, one or all of the following, pancakes, more pancakes, french toast, waffles and/or a side of maple bacon.
We figure it was due time that they learn just how much work goes into this golden goodness. ( My husband being French-Canadian, nothing but the purest canadian Maple Syrup has ever hit our table, no Aunt Jemima here).
Have you ever drove by large tree farms in the spring and wondered what those blue or green lines are, running from tree to tree? Well, we learned all about the process of pulling large quantities of sap from Maple trees to supply a major Maple Syrup operation.
Last week, we had the pleasure of enjoying, Temples Sugar Bush. A favourite here in the Ottawa Valley, located just to the west of Ottawa, in beautiful Lanark. This is a family-owned venue, that specializes as a pancake house, and hosts the most beautiful weddings and conferences. BUT for the 8 weeks of syrup rush, they are a stunning restaurant and Maple Syrup farm.
Did you know there was actually, specific temperatures for optimal sap production. The weather has to be warm in the day time, above freezing, 0 degrees C (32 F)—— while still cold at night. The tapping period usually ends when supply ceases, generally once the night time temperatures warm above the freezing mark.
Temples is a family-owned farm that spans over 70 acres, with over 5000 taps. We enjoyed a lovely walking trail, some wonderful Maple Taffy and of course the evaporator room, where you can actually smell the magic happening.
The restaurant, located in a beautiful, post and beam building, has been open to the public since 2007, and is absolutely gorgeous! A true vision in itself, AND the Sugar Makers Buffet hosted here, will WOW your tastebuds. Served exclusively during the months of March and April, you will want to enjoy this taste of heaven itself. Everything Maple, your heart could desire. From biscuits to beans, pancakes and more. At $22 an adult and $12 for kids 2-12, I had my reservations, but drinks are included and the food is nothing short of spectacular.
Speaking of reservations… they are an excellent idea to save yourself the lineup.
Our server Jenny was an absolute peach. She reminded me what excellent service is all about. She was so knowledgeable of the farm, and every mother’s delight, when it came to dealing with the kids. Thank you Jenny for taking the time with us and adding to our wonderful adventure. We appreciate your exceptional service, especially during such a busy time.
So if you are looking for a fun, educational afternoon, and you love Maple Syrup as much as we do, you may just want to check out Temple’s Sugar Bush. Some fresh air, a little light learning and the yummiest pancakes around.
And while you’re there, pick up some maple goodies, cause they’ll be gone before you know it!
For more information about Temples, hours of operation or Special Events inquiries (such a gorgeous venue for a wedding… seriously! I’m thinking of getting married again, just to use their venue… oh, and yes, married to the same man, I kinda like him!)
Check out their website at http://www.templessugarbush.ca/pancake-house/
And Happy Spring.