Posted by: J Nyman | March 13, 2008

5 Reasons I Live in Maple Syrup Heaven

Maple Syrup Heaven, yup, that’s my home. (Sigh)

Okay, so my house is a brick and vinyl siding, severely non-eco-friendly ten year old box. But my home – the way Canada is my home, Prince Edward County is my home and any windy, fresh aired, agricultural space is my home – my home is a maple syrup destination from on high.

I guess I have a lot of good maple resources in my immediate vicinity. I can think of at least 5 reasons that my area (our farm included) is a superior sweet spring harvest area.

#1: The Obvious

We run a sugar bush. We have made maple syrup for years. My husband built his first outdoor, uncovered arch for boiling on when he was ten. All by himself. He needed something to do while the ‘rents milked cows. And it was too early to plant his vegetable garden. Ten, I tell you. (I was being a latch-key kid rushing home to catch the last half of CHiPs on TV).

#2 The Decadent

This county I refer to above – Prince Edward County – is a wild and wonderful place located only two hours from Toronto. With agri-tourism getting big and the winery business here getting bigger, there are a lot of people with a lot of money parading around looking for good food to eat. Currah’s, Harvest, The Waring House to name a few…

I’m not sure what came first, the chicken or the… I mean, the hungry upscale consumer or the renowned and brilliant chefs and restaurateurs but, somehow, this small community boast an inordinately large number of places to eat decadently.

Though I’m always in the sugar bush on our big maple festival weekend, I’m sure you can get gourmet stacks of pancakes dripping with the golden goodness at any number of our fine local establishments. Something like the ones featured in this post over at The Food Pornographer.

#3: The Everyday

Probably not the best idea to eat maple syrup slathered pancakes, french toast or waffles everyday but you could if you wanted to. During our local maple syrup festival, you could go to more than one sugar bush and have them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Or – and this might qualify as decadent to some – you can go any day of the year to one of the local down-home diners and, for a small but worthwhile extra charge, get the real thing along with your home fries and bottomless coffee.

#4 The Award Winning

There is more than one maple related award wining aspect to my ‘home’.

For one, we have a festival called Maple in the County that has won awards. I daresay it should be called the Tastiest Fun Thing to do with The Family. Check out our J. & C. Nyman Farms profile for the festival here.

Also, the marketing organization that supports the businesses in the county has won awards. And so they should. I can’t believe how much press we’ve had since signing up with them. Check out Taste the County if you’re wondering how to brand your area and get consumers to spend their money locally.

#5 The Feel-Good

maple_tapping_email.jpgThis is really a personal thing. Not everyone will agree that this is a maple-related benefit. Those with teenagers at home might think it sounds more like voluntary torture.

The truth about me, though? I really like teenagers. And, this year, I’ve been able to get back to working with them through our sugar bush. I had been too long away from the all encompassing energy of the rare beast known as ‘the enthusiastic teen’ and I wanted to get back. So, I created a leadership project that involved running our event at the Maple in the County festival. Fun and learning for all.

And, better than that, MAPLE SYRUP FOR ALL!

(Just don’t ask me about it after I’ve spent a 72 hour stretch feeding wood into the evaporator. That post will be about syrup hell…)

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