The sweet taste of maple syrup sampled

Filed under: Headline,In Our Community |

by Sylene Argent

Hundreds of curious visitors headed to the John R. Park Homestead on Sunday afternoon to participate in the living history museum’s annual Maple Syrup Festival.

While sampling the sweet maple product in a variety of forms, including a taffy that was rolled onto a popsicle stick after being poured onto the snow, and flavoured cotton candy, the participants were able to go station-to-station to learn how maple syrup is made.

John R. Park Homestead volunteers, dressed in pioneer garb, were pleased to explain the maple syrup process, which begins by tapping a tree. It typically takes 40 pails of sap to make one pail of the sweet syrup. The syrup is obtained by boiling the water out of the sap, which was witnessed onsite on a contained outdoor flame. Further boiling of the syrup can create maple sugar or butter.

Kristin Ives, John R. Park’s Curator, was pleased with the turn out at the event, and also with the sunny weather experienced.

The weather plays an important role in the maple syrup process. Ives said cool weather during the night and warmer weather during the day is ideal in helping trees produce sap that will be transformed into sweet maple treats.

Youth visitors also had a chance to carry sap using a yoke. They also created maple-themed crafts during the festival.

At the February 5 regular meeting, Council declared March as “Maple Month” within the Town of Essex. This was done in support of promoting the cultural and natural history of maple trees in the region.

To learn more about upcoming John R. Park Homestead events, including the Maple March Break program, log onto