The February session of New Horizons was held on Thursday, February 14, at 2 p.m. at the Maryhill Heritage Park Community Centre. It was a very good turnout of men and women who came to hear Kevin Snyder of Snyder Heritage Farms speak on the sweet smell of success and maple syrup. Following Kevin’ s presentation there was a lively question and answer period. Kevin and Anne Snyder had a table set up with many items, pamphlets, pictures and recipes to explain the processing of maple syrup and were available to talk one on one to those wishing to learn more.
Kevin and his family have 150 acres that they tap and he is the 5th generation on the farm. They tap 3600 trees and in their sugar house they use a wood fire evaporation to cook the sap. Maple syrup is a syrup usually made from the sap of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees, although it can also be made from other maple species. These trees are at least 25 years old before they can be tapped. In cold climates, these trees store starch in their trunks and roots before winter; the starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in late winter and early spring. Each year a new tap is made in the tree never in the same spot using a 5/16” drill. It takes 2 to 3 years for the holes to heal.
In 2009 they switched from the bucket system to pipelines which has greatly increased their production plus they can prepare the trees before the season begins. The plastic tubing has a life of 15 to 20 years while the plastic spiles that go into the trees are replaced every year. The pipelines then go to a central station which are stainless steel tanks. It takes 40 litres of sap to make 1 litre of syrup. Nothing is added to maple sap in the making of the syrup. Thanks to reverse osmosis it cuts boiling time and reduces wood or fuel consumption.
They have also recently been certified organic and sell both retail and wholesale. One-third or 30 percent they sell in 1 litre mason jars.
Kevin is on the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association and this will be the fourth year this organization is hosting their Annual Maple Weekend on April 6th and 7th from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. This event takes place across Ontario in a number of maple syrup producing areas. They will explain how maple products are gathered and produced . There will be activities for all ages to enjoy. You can check out their website for producers in our area.
The next meeting will be on Thursday, March 14th at the Maryhill Heritage Park Community Centre from 10-11:30 a.m. admission is $2.00 which includes refreshments and treats. Guest speaker will be Jean Horne, Race Walker and her topic will be “There is No Stopping Her.”