By Kat Hallett
For many Canadians, a trip to the local sugar camp is a spring-time tradition. We’ve wandered through maple stands with trees too big to hug that are tapped and rigged with a few metal buckets. We’ve stood in awe watching hundreds of litres of sap gush out of blue tubing into a holding tank the size of a small house. We’ve drank that deliciously sweet liquid―somewhere between sap and syrup―still warm from the boiler, and we’ve purchased way too many maple candies and hidden them away to enjoy year-round.
The first annual Fundy Sugar Woods Festival will let you tap into the rich Indigenous cultural heritage of maple syrup. There will be log-kettle sap-boiling demonstrations, and sap pours on snow. A short hike (or snowshoe depending on snow depth) will take you through one of the beautiful maple stands in Fundy National Park, where you will learn about traditional tapping techniques and uses of saps.
The Fundy Sugar Woods Festival is presented by Wabanaki Tree Spirit Tours and the Friends of Fundy/Fundy Guild, and hosted in Fundy National Park. The weekend-long festival will take place April 13-14th. The activities will be based out of the Chignecto Pavilion with guided programming on Saturday at 10am and 2pm.
As an added bonus, a few local businesses in Alma will be joining in and making special maple treats during the Fundy Sugar Woods Festival. The Holy Whale Brewing Company will have a maple beer on tap all weekend, and the Octopus’ Garden Café will also be working their culinary magic—stay tuned!
Maple Syrup Facts
~It takes 40 litres of sap to make 1 litre of maple syrup.
~In Canada, there are 13 native species of maple trees, but only three of them are used for maple syrup production.
~The first written account of maple syrup production comes from 1606 when Marc Lescarbot, lawyer and writer in Acadia, described the area’s Indigenous peoples collecting maple water and “distilling” it to make syrup.
~It takes roughly 40 years for a tree to be big enough to tap.
Kat Hallett is the Community Engagement Coordinator at the Friends of Fundy/Fundy Guild Inc.
Image from Angela MacDougall of Black Sheep Maple in Edgett's Landing. Black Sheep Dark Maple Syrup is or will soon be available around Albert County in seasonal shops, Hillsborough Farmers Market, the roadside stand in Edgett's Landing and Glass Roots Inc. Gallery in Riverview.