About Maple Syrup

Tom has been thinking, learning and talking about maple syrup his entire life. He enjoys sharing what he knows about maple syrup with guests and, like his dad and grandfather before him, can often be found chatting by the evaporator. Maple syrup is so essentially Canadian and so completely natural, it is something we all love to talk about. 

If you have the time, Tom answers a LOT of great questions about maple syrup in this Connected to the Land podcast.  Click here to listen. 

 If you don’t have time to listen to the podcast, please read on. We will do our best to explain how maple syrup is made and describe some of its nutritional benefits. That’s right, its delicious AND good for you! 

Maple Season

Our maple syrup is made from the sap of the sugar maple tree and our sugar bush is home to over 4,500 sugar maple trees. Sugar maples are the longest living trees in this part of the world and some can live up to 400 years. While each year is different, the sap in the trees often starts to run sometime in mid-February or March. Maple Season is characterized by daytime temperatures above freezing and nighttime temperatures below freezing.  Maple season often lasts between two and eight weeks, depending on the weather pattern. Once the tree has enough sap to feed its developing buds, the sap stops flowing.

Sap Collection & Tree Care

We collect sap by drilling a hole into the tree and capturing excess run off. Taps do not hurt the trees and we tend to our trees year round; thinning the bush when necessary, moving the location of taps and only tapping healthy trees. In return, the trees provide us with sap for many decades. The tables in our pancake house are made from our downed trees. If you look closely at the cross-cut sections of trees in the tables, you will see the tap marks from many maple seasons.  

Processing Sap to Syrup

Maple sap collected from the tree is about 98% water and 2% sugar. One gallon of maple syrup requires about 40 gallons of sap. In simplest terms, we gather the sap and boil it in the evaporator to remove the water and concentrate the sugar, making maple syrup. In truth, we use a process called reverse osmosis to remove a lot of the water from the sap before we boil it. We only use the sap from our own trees so we take care with the sap, boiling it over pressurized steam so we don’t burn the syrup. When our family started making syrup in 1904, it took two and a half hours to make syrup from sap. Over the years, our family has introduced many innovations to the process. Now it takes us less than half the time and we can make as much syrup as our bush will allow but still manage with just two or three people. 

Health Benefits of Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is a wonderful, unique and nutritious sweeteners. Maple syrup has also been shown to have a number of health benefits such as aiding with digestion and improving the effect of antibiotics. Described as one of the world’s last wild harvested foods, maple syrup comes directly from nature and does not require a lot of refining like some other sweeteners. 

Maple syrup is also rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants have been proven to have a number of health benefits such as reducing inflammation, preventing cancer, and slowing the effects of aging. 

Visit Our Pancake House and Maple Tree’t Shop for Maple Goodies

You will find many maple goodies in our Maple Tree’t shop including: maple sugar, maple candy, and even maple butter. Kids of all ages always LOVE maple taffy on the snow and we often make it for guests during Maple Season.  Come visit us and enjoy all that maple syrup has to offer. During Maple Season we are open every day from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. You can find our Pancake House menu here. If you want to be SURE we are boiling, we encourage you to please call ahead (705) 325-4347.

Making Maple Taffy at Home

You Can Purchase Shaw's Syrup All Year At: