Every year I intend to take the kids to a sugar bush and every year I fail to make it happen. This year I was determined to take the kids to a sugar bush to learn about the process of making maple syrup and to buy some locally produced liquid gold.
Good news, I did it!
On the last weekend of March Break, we all piled into the van and took a little drive out to Rolling Ridge Maple Products. Rolling Ridge isn’t your typical sugar bush experience most of us have come to expect. Most sugar bushes have a little a tour and then the main attraction is a pancake meal with all the fixin’s, including sausage and bacon. A lot of the bushes around here have also become mini playgrounds.
But this wasn’t the experience I was looking for when I started to search local sugar bushes to visit. I looked at quite a few, but every single one of them offered the pancake meal as an option. Then I stumbled upon Rolling Ridge Maple Products and while they have a partnership with a nearby church they offered a tour and product. Just what I was looking for.
The outdoor portion of our tour was short, but that is to be expected. The process of making maple syrup from sap hasn’t changed much over the years accept to be made automated. It really is a Canadian tradition that all families simply must participate in and I love the approach that Rolling Ridge has taken.
We had the older children read informative blurbs along the tour so they would feel more engaged and so that the younger boys would also enjoy it more. I find in our family that if the older kids are part of the learning process, the younger boys will also engage and learn more.
Once we finished the short but informative outdoor tour, we moved inside where were shown the process of boiling and turning the sap into the product we all know and love. There is A LOT of boiling that goes on to get to the final product, but it is sooo worth it. I didn’t end up getting any pictures inside because we had to really keep an eye on the kids, but that’s ok, it gives you something to look forward to when you go there. 😀
And no sugar bush tour would be complete without making a purchase. I may have gone a little overboard, but in my defence we do use syrup a lot around here, and I only use the good stuff! So we bought a 4L jug of maple syrup, a jar of maple butter and some maple candies to be enjoyed in the car. And oh have we been enjoying these maple products! The candies were eaten in short order and the maple butter is almost gone. I had no idea how good maple butter was!
There is just something about enjoying food that has been locally produced. Rolling Ridge will only be open until April 5th, 2015 so if you haven’t gotten your maple fix this year I suggest you go now! They are open every day of the week from 10am to 5pm and 11am to 4pm on Sunday’s. They are located 22681 Vanneck Rd, Ilderton.
Have you visited a sugar bush yet this year?