First Tapping Ceremony Kicks off Season

First Tapping Ceremony Kicks off Season

Algoma Maple Syrup producers along with local dignitaries attended a First Tapping Ceremony to officially kick off the maple syrup season and the upcoming Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Summer Tour hosted in Algoma for 2018.

Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha (L) and OMSPA President Brian Bainborough (R).
Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha (L) and OMSPA President Brian Bainborough (R).

The OMSPA Summer Tour will run July 12-14th in Sault Ste. Marie with group tours planned to local sugar bushes in our area, along with workshops and seminars for producers who will come from around the province to take part.

Judy Hughes of Rose Valley Maple Syrup, says, this First Tapping and Summer Tour is hosted in a different part of Ontario each year, and was last held in Algoma 11 years ago.

The theme of this summer’s event is Maple Health on the Northern Edge, exploring recent findings which link maple syrup to personal health through phytonutrients. In particular, “54 polyphenols identified in syrup, some boasting similar antioxidant benefits to those found in red wine, berries, tea and flaxseed”.

According to OMSPA, “Ontario producers make 4.5% of the maple syrup in Canada, with the largest Ontario producer located on St. Joseph Island. Gilbertson Maple Products does an impressive 40,000 taps each season, while most operations tap between 500-2000 annually.

Algoma Manitoulin Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes (L) and AMSPA President Tolbert Stinson (R)
Algoma Manitoulin Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes (L) and AMSPA President Tolbert Stinson (R)

Algoma has the highest concentration of sugar maple stands in Ontario. Currently about 40% of syrup used in Ontario, is produced within the province, and 60% is imported. This presents a huge opportunity for local producers to increase tapping and try to meet the demand within our own province.

A delicious lunch was provided by the Algoma Maple Syrup Producers as part of the ceremony at the 5th Line Sugar Shack in SSM, with a sweet finish of maple butter tarts baked by Sue Manchur of Mountain Maple Products.

Many Algoma producers have started tapping this week, which means pancakes, fresh syrup, and sugar shack visits, and are just around the corner. For a map of where to buy local syrup click here.