Cider time Part II

Well my little cider project is just running along nicely. Check out the cider time part II video. Enjoy



Cider time part 1 – First attempt at hard apple cider

Hello out there this is my first attempt at making hard apple cider from scratch. I have no idea if it is going to work or what it will taste like but I am on my way.



RIP Stompin’ Tom

Well it is a sad time for all of Canada. We have lost an amazing Canadian, Stompin’ Tom Connors will be missed by all Canadians who had the pleasure of hearing his amazing Canadian music.

We all love to listen to him in the sugarbush and while making maple syrup in the sugar shack. We played his music in the parade this year and it was a big hit.

He was a patriotic Canadian and we at sap to syrup are very patriotic as well. We love this country! We love the fact this country makes more maple syrup than any other place on the planet! Canada lost a true hero someone who defined what it means to be Canadian.


Alberta Bound

Hello From Grande Prairie

Well what a trip from St. Joseph island to Grande Prairie, According to my phone it took 125 hours and 7 minutes to get from the Island bridge to the new front door. It was quite the adventure.

First of all I had to get a new car as the rear differential on my GMC seiera broke in a crazy blaze of glory. I don’t know how many of you out there have experience and rear end fail while driving but it is something you don’t forget. The truck came to a screeching, clunking, grinding halt in the middle of the road just as I was thinking “I should get this looked at before I head out west.” So it was time to find a new car.

I was looking around Sault Ste Marie but it was hard to find a car that would fit the criteria I was looking for. First It had to be great on gas that was the first priority as I was traveling over 3000 km. So I heading down to Hamilton to find the car of my dreams (with a budget of only $2000 I was going to have dream realistically). I looked at all the used car lots in the city but I was not going to find anything for that price range. I looked at a few smaller cars but anything in my budget had some serious issues. Than at the end of the day when I was sick of looking at cars I found it. A little red 1992 VW Jetta!

I fell in love because this little baby can get 1000 km on a 50L tank. It is a diesel standard 5 speed with a manual sunroof, RAD.

I brought it back to my Dads and we polished it up to a show room finish. It is in really great condition for being 20 years old, they really don’t make them like this anymore. So I called up the service Ontario to find out how I could get it back to St. Joseph island. The lady on the phone regretted to tell me that if the car you are licensing is 20 year or older than you have to get what is called a vehicle appraisal to determine the market price of what the car is worth. Well the lady at the counter did let me know after waiting in line for almost two hours. So I had to find someone that would be able to do that the next day. They use this form to tell what the blue book value of the car is and of course you pay taxes on the larger of the two values. I hope the bean counter that came up with this idea for a money grab has to pass a kidney stone the size of a golf ball.

So I had my car and drove it back to the island, I was happy but my better half was not thrilled that it was a compact and it was a standard. I tried to tell her is was great on gas, I tried to explain the superiority of German engineering but no dice, she does not like this car.  There was nothing we could do so we packed it with all of our stuff and started on our journey.

We made it to Wawa the first night and of course we forgot to charge our computers and devices before we left. So we ran the car for an hour to get everything charged up when BOOM! There is a small piece of plastic that connects to the engine block which holds the heat sensors at least there WAS one on my car. So all the coolant blasted all over the engine block, what a mess! Luckily we were at our campsite when it happened so it gave us time to find a replacement part from a wrecker in Sault Ste Marie. My Girlfriend hated the car even more. It took two days to get out to Wawa and in the mean time I thought I would fix a small coolant leak from the engine block. This was a mistake!

So I took the valve cover off and realized that the bolt heads could not be tightened with the tools I had on hand. So I put the valve cover back on and of course the gasket started to leak when we started up the car. So now there was a new problem. I took the car to a local garage when I met a guy named Chris who knew all about these types of VWs. He told me he loved these cars and that he had two of them. This did not help to convince my girl, she hated the car more than ever. He sold me some industrial cleaner and some sealant and let me fix the car in the driveway. I had it all put together and ready to go. After about 10 minutes of driving I went to check how the engine was doing and of course it was still leaking. It seems the bolts that hold the valve cover down were really stripped and where not doing their job. So I bought a large bottle of oil and we continued to Winnipeg.

When we got there we took a tour down town to see what the city was like. This was a huge mistake as we had no map and had no idea where to go. We drove towards the biggest building we could find and found an underground parking lot. When we finished parking we realized that we had lost our ticket for the lot. So the logical thing to do would be to go the information desk and ask them what we could do. Well you would think that the information desk would be a great place to start but the lady there was about as much help as a turnip. She did not have a map of the city and did not know where to get one. She had no idea about anything that had to do with parking and also had no idea where her manager was or where her managers office was. So we heading back down to the garage and tried to get another ticket. Of course we were not able to get a ticket from the machine without a car so we pushed the help button. A lady came out and we explained the situation to her. “I know you were having trouble I was watching you when you came in.” I did not really know what to make of us being under the surveillance from the second we got in. So if you loose your ticket it cost $25 dollars so back to the car to try and find our ticket. We finally found it and decided that we were just going to get out of this place as parking was too expensive and confusing to deal with (the underground parking layout was incredibly difficult to navigate).

So back in downtown Winnipeg we made our way out to a friends place and got to stay in a bed which was awesome! The next day we geared up and went to the local Volkswagen dealership. They were no help, just as any dealership. First they did not have the part in stock and it would take two days to order it.  The part was going to cost $90 for a few bolts and a gasket. Not really what we had in the budget so we came up with a new plan. We decided to go to a specialty fastener store to see if we could get something to replace the stripped bolts.  We found a great place called Westcan Industrial Fasteners & Construction Supply Ltd. Not only did they find the right nuts and bolts but he was a big fan of maple syrup and gave me a really great deal for a bottle of sap to syrup’s finest! We replaced the bolts and made a new gasket and that was the end of the leaks. The car was 100% again.

We headed out over the parries and my god it is beautiful. Great highways and great people the landscape is amazing and the sky is so big. We were luck enough to see a perfect sunset it was a real treat, at least I thought is was going to be. We entered the city of Regina just as the sun was directly in my eyes. There was no way we could see any of the street signs so we just followed the car in front of us which happened to be going only about 70kph. Too much of a good thing I guess.

So we blasted though the rest of Saskatchewan making it just about the to the Alberta border. We slept that night in the car sitting up, which was not that comfortable but boy was that efficient. I simply woke up, looked that the clock right under the speedometer and buckled my safety belt and boom we were off.

We charged away though Alberta stopping for Diesel in Edmonton, I wish we could have spent more time checking the place out but by that time we were behind schedule and really getting sick of the road. We also had another 4 hours of driving to do before we got to Grande Prairie and I was not about to stop for anything. We rolled in at about 4:30pm on Friday. The whole trip was a bit of a blur but the little red car that would, Did. I am so proud. My Girlfriend still hates the car.

So I still have the timer going at the time I am writing this it says a 245h and 25min since I have been on St. Joseph island and boy do I miss it. It should be a just as fun an adventure getting back as it was getting here.

Cheers from Grande Prairie, Alberta!

60 years for the Queen

Just thought I would post a quick video to commemorate the 60 years Queen Elizabeth has been on the thrown.

It is quite an achievement.

I promise to get more videos uploaded with what we are up to in the sugar bush as a lot of things are happening. Until than Cheers!

No work in the Sugarbush – Trillium time

No work to be done in the sugar bush in the next little while so that we can let all the Trilliums do there thing.

World Cup

It is great to live in Toronto during world cup. This city is so unique in the fact that there are people from all around the world in every corner of the city. You could not help to be part of it as cars drove around honking,  waving flags of the victorious country.

We at sap to syrup are very exited about the world cup this year. Until Canada makes it to the world cup we want to get into the spirit by rooting for a team. This year we are rooting for Italy which play there first game today against Paraguay.

Good luck Italy sap to syrup is rooting for you.


Italy vs. Paraguay - 14 Jun 2:30pm (ET)
Italy vs. New Zealand - 20 Jun 10:00am (ET)
Slovakia vs. Italy - 24 Jun 10:00am (ET)

We would love to hear who you are rooting for, let us know.