Post season

Maple Pork Chops Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

Friend of Saptosyrup Morgan Stopes sent us a a pic of her maple glazed pork chops using Saptosyrup’s finest.

They certainly look delicious, we’ll have to get the recipe!

Ms. Morgan Stopes's Maple Glazed Pork Chops

Ms. Morgan Stopes’s Maple Glazed Pork Chops


Cider time Part III – Well it all worked out

Hey out there, I am happy to say that our little experiment with making hard apple cider was a success. I have a bit of a headache this morning to prove it.

Well I did manage to get the last video put together for cider time. Please enjoy and let us know what you think.

It has been quite the last few weeks up here in Alberta, It has been very very cold I have never worked in -43 before and now I know what it is like. Today we have been called off of work because of the cold and that is why I have had the time to work on this.

Christmas is coming and what better way to show someone that you love them then with a gift sized bottle of the best maple syrup around.

Cheers


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.

Cheers

 


Maple Syrup: How Can Something This Sweet Be Good For Me?

Lets start off with how good Maple Syrup Tastes. We At Saptosyrup could only sum it up with Total Awesomeness.

If you have a sweet tooth the pleasing Maple Flavour accompanied buy the infused wood smoke (of wood fired syrup Saptosyrup’s favourite kind to make and eat) has a way of bringing you back to the simple enjoyments of life. If you haven’t tasted Maple Syrup before you are missing out on the thick mouth watering Natural Healthy Maple Goodness.

How Healthy Is Maple Syrup?

Well Friends… Its ok to put a little More in that Coffee, or on your Pancakes, in your Cake and Muffin Mix, and for Wherever you use white cane sugar/molasses/brown sugar….. Because Its actually a Super Food Full of Healthy Ingredients Mother Nature has snuck into the mix.

Here is some of the Benefits..

Zinc:  The Health of our Hearts is , excuse the pun but close to our hearts. So if you have your Hearts Health in mind and a Sweet Tooth then Maple Syrup is right up your ally.

I found the following at website  http://www.whfoods.com

The zinc supplied by maple syrup, in addition to acting as an antioxidant, has other functions that can decrease the progression of atherosclerosis. Zinc is needed for the proper function of endothelial cells and helps to prevent the endothelial damage caused by oxidized LDL cholesterol and other oxidized fats. (The endothelium is the inner lining of blood vessels.) Endothelial membranes low in zinc are much more prone to injury. Additionally, studies have found that in adults deficient in manganese, the other trace mineral amply supplied in maple syrup, the level of HDL (the “good” cholesterol) is decreased.

Manganese:  In trace amounts is part of the mix that helps Enzymes Important in the Production of Energy  and Antioxidant Defences.  The following found on the site http://www.whfoods.com

The key oxidative enzyme superoxide dismutase, which disarms free radicals produced within the mitochondria (the energy production factories within our cells), requires manganese. One ounce of maple syrup supplies 22.0% of the daily value for this very important trace mineral.”Immune System Boost: Zinc and Manganese support the functions of our Immune systems. Especially in Children. Wow it should be Easy to get Kids to Enjoy Building their Immune Systems to help them grow Healthy and Strong.

Zinc deficiencies studied have been linked to the number of White Blood Cells that are part of a Healthy Immune System.

Manganese is Very Important because of the Anti-inflammatory Properties, and it Promotes Healing. It also acts like an Immunostimulant.

Nice.. So you can Have your Maple Syrup and be Heathy Too.

 

Mens Health: Guess what its Sweet for the Love Life too.  Zinc for your D—  (interesting way to say it but its  rhyme i heard from an old farmer)  Its also believed to help Support  actual Reproductive Health for Men. Zinc’s Highest Concentration is found in the Prostate and at low levels it puts men at greater risk of Cancer of the Prostrate.

Manganese also has a Support role to the Production of Hormones that participate in the Reproductive Health of men.

Nutrient Analysis:

Based on two tea spoons total weight 13.33g

Calories–34.80 —-% DV–1.93

Calories from fat–0.24

Calories from Saturated fat–0.04

Carbohydrates–8.95 —-%DV–2.98

Sugar- total—7.94g

Other carbs–1.01g

Fat total–0.03g —-%DV–0.05

Mono fat–0.04

Poly fat–0.04

 

Minerals and Daily values.

Calcium–8.93mg —-%DV–0.89

Chromium–0.33mg —-%DV–0.28

Copper–0.01mg —-%DV–0.50

Iron–0.16mg —-%DV–0.89

Magnesium–1.87mg —-%DV–0.47

Manganese–0.44mg —-%DV–22.00

Phosphorus–0.27mg —-%DV–0.03

Potassium–27.20mg —-%DV–0.78

Selenium–0.08mcg —-%DV–0.11

sodium–1.20mg —-%DV–0.05

Zinc–0.55mg —-%DV–3.62

It even has trace amounts of OMEGA 6 fatty acids@0.01g

Check out the comparison to white sugar. Big Difference. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5592/2

Some More Good News Now studies are being done with Type 2 Diabetes and Maple Syrup as well. Makes Good Sense.

So There It Is:  Some of the Healthy Facts about the Sweet Nectar of The Gods.

We at Saptosyrup  Challenge YOU, to a Taste Test. Generic cane sugar made table syrup or corn syrup as compared with Maple Syrup.  Let us know on Facebook or comment on this post. We Would Like to Hear from You, our Friends and Members of the Syrup Enlightenment.

I’m Sure You will Taste a Major Difference.


Hilton Beach Community Night

What a great time! We had a blast this weekend at the Hilton Beach community night. It felt like the whole island was there for the festivities and the parade. We had 9 minibikes, 3 quads and a truck in our group including the sap to syrup white bike that Mike has been working so hard to finish for the event.

Work is still getting done in the sugarbush, all of bush two is cleaned out and ready for next season we just have to pull the liquid out of  bush one, to finish our summer cleaning of lines to make sure it is clean clean clean. Work is never done when it comes to Running a Maple Syrup operation, but as long as you can do it with a smile it is worth it!

Thanks to everyone that was involved to make this an amazing event!

 


RICHARDS LANDING INVADED BY BIKER GANG

Well if you missed Richards Landing Community Night you missed our first venture in trying to get St Joseph’s Island named the MAPLE SYRUP CAPITOL OF CANADA. Many of the Islands Producers were there, we saw Doug Thompson of Thompson’s Maple Products, Kris Desjardins of Farr End Maple Products and Ches Wallace of Mountain Maple Product. In fact it was Ches’s Birthday and we got the honour of cheers and happy birthday celebration Legion style with one of best syrup makers St Joe has ever seen. Again HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHES

We have some video that will be uploaded as soon as we can, but until then here is our Racing team shots from our entry in the parade. We won Third place but because there were some many great floats they ran out of ribbons for third so we were very happy to take a fourth. We plan to frame our first ribbon and hang it in the sugar shack.

We also met up with Steve Ibbitson an Awesome Racer from the Laird Race way. He has many trophy’s to his name and he now has taken on the sponsorship of Saptosyrup.com. His car will sport our logo and we will be there to cheer him on. He is also agreed to race one of our saptosyrup bikes in the Saptosyrup 100 that is on the Horizon. If you like Racing then go over to Laird Races and watch Steve Ibbitson do his thing GO STEVE GO GO STEVE GO.

Thanks to everyone that helped us out you Rock. lets try for 100 bikes next year.
Enjoy
Mike

Oh ya we will be at Hilton Beach Community Night doing our thing so be there or be square

STS Racing Photo

STS Racing Photo

 

 

1812 Float

Steve Ibbitson the newest member of our race team posing with his trophys. He will be driving the saptosyrup sponsored car in the laird Races in the future

[caption id=

STS RACING PHOTO

Action shot in the parade

STS Girls

Fourth place ain't so bad

Richards Landing Parade

This guy was having a blast

“]New Racing team memberSteve’s Trophy’s

STS Racing photo 2

We won 3rd but they ran out of ribbons so we had to take 4th but we were happy regardless and we won $5 which we are going to donate to the Matthews Hospital

The STS Racing Crew

The STS Racing Crew

Steve's car

The Car that will wear our colors


Happy Canada Day

Happy Canada Day

So it is Canada day and I don’t think there is a better place to hang out than Richards Landing on the day of the tractor trot. There are a ton of famers here and one thing farmers have in common is they have tractors and boy were there a lot of them. Every

shape and size you could think of.

I hope everyone out there is having a great Canada day do your self a favor and have some maple syrup.


 


Summers here

So summer is here in full force and we are loving it. It is almost July and syrup season seems a life time away, or does it? There is no real way to get away from it there is always something else that needs to be done or needs to be fixed. Like today for example I am building boxes for our maple syrup bottles because the boxes that they were shipped in can not possible hold the weight of the syrup.

 

I have been thinking in the last little while about moving back up north it has been a great time. My girlfriend and I have been up here for over a year and we feel that we are better for it. Making the move from down town Toronto to St. Joseph Island was quite a jump especially for a city girl like Brianna but she has adapted to this life very well.

 

There are however some hurdles to over come such as Ontario’s stupid graduated license system. It takes one year of a learners permit before you can take your test to drive alone. Sound good in principal but it just means that she has no way to leave the house unless I am here to drive her. It is a real pain in the ass.

 

We also miss the food in Toronto, we could get all sorts are great cuisines from around the world just out our front door, here all the restaurants are basically the same.

 

We also really miss the great friends we made in Toronto and really miss being able to hang out with them the way we use to. There were also different types of shows and concerts not really the same thing here.

 

One of the hardest things for me is having to give up my career in web development, though it was not by choice. No one up here is very keen on the whole internet thing, it is impossible to get any internet where we are living so I have to travel to town to send an email or do a blog post. So web development is out of the picture while I am here which kind of sucks, but hey thats life.

 

To make matters worse it seems that our video camera has gone missing, that was kind of our back bone for taking pictures and shooting video for the website. We have found some alternatives but it really does not work as well. Mike and I have been looking every where for the last week but have not had any luck yet.

 

We will hang in there if you do, stay tuned for more and if you haven’t yet take a look at our new “friends of sap to syrup” section.

 

Base ball across from the dufferin mall

Toronto Streets in winter, Corner of Bloor and Russett


Thanks To All

Dave and i would like to thank everyone that helped us this year to make 2012 a great year despite the short season. We have made the most syrup to date for Saptosyrup Maple Products. Approx 350 Liters. Not as much as we would have liked but we’ll take it.

We had great times again which fuels us to drive on to bigger and better. Now that were setup in the Sugar Shack we will spend some much needed time cleaning out the sugar bush and adding taps to our portfolio. 2,000,000 or bust.

If you haven’t picked up a bottle of our finest yet, then you better hurry cause we are 2/3 sold out for the year. You can contact us or pick it up at one of our fine locations.
The Northgate Service Center in Montreal River.
The Steamy Bean Cafe on Great Northern Road in S.S.Marie
The Kackleberry Cafe on Second Line W in S.S.Marie


Season is over 2012

Well it has been a long time since our last post and I apologize but it has been one of those months. There has been a few developments in the last little while, but first the rest of the season.

The sap went buddy. The trees don’t produce the same type of sap all year round. The only good sap is at the beginning of the season when it is clear and sweet. Near the end of the season when the trees start producing buds the sap changes  cloudy and bitter. The true tell tail sign is when you start to boil it you will notice the smell, there is no mistaking it.

Our clean up this year was also a bit hairy as the well on the property started to collapse which cased a ton of problems with sand. Making maple syrup takes a TON of water to produce. Most of it is used making sure everything is clean clean clean. We have back washed the bush and the solution is going to sit in the lines for a little while.

Cleaning the big evaporator was a bit of a challenge but we did get it all done.  A bit of a challenge when compared to the small evaporator.

Another great news is that the FIRE WOOD IS DONE!!!

 Trilliums are out again which means we are officially done all of our work in the bush (for a month or so). The Trillium is Ontario’s Official flower and they are illegal to pick or destroy,  this means we have to stop work in the bush which is all right with us.


The legend of Burnsie

I just wanted to put together a little post on our favorite evaporator to date. Yes she is very inefficient, yes she is warped, yes she is not 100% square but this pan and archway has so much character that we can’t help but love her.

Mike’s father is the only one who really knows the history of Burns and it is spotty at best, his memory is not what it use to be. As the story goes Mike’s Grandfather was using a very old style flat pan with no channels in it. Burns was custom made by someone in Sault Ste Maire. She is a three channel flat pan made out of 1/4 stainless steal.

The reason we call her Burnsie is because of how much wood she burns. This pan is so inefficient that we can’t possibly produce Maple Syrup for the market on it.  The Days of old wood fired maple syrup are going to be a thing of the past.

There are however very fun facts about running Burnsie.

If you burn the pan it is no big deal – When I tried to run the pan with 3/4” of sap in it the first time I started it up I burnt the pan pretty good. The nice thing is that you can use a grinder to get it clean again. Try that with a delicate raised flu pan1.

It is easy to Run – Once you get a few inches of sap in her there is pretty much nothing that can go wrong2. No floats to jam up, no pipes to check on. Just keep the level high and the fire hot!

The Syrup is AMAZING – If I had my choice I would love to run this pan all day and I am sure that Mike would agree with me. The syrup is so thick and rich it is hard to describe, it like what maple syrup tasted like half a century ago. Mike calls it his Grandfather’s maple syrup.

This year we made a special batch 6 which took a ton of wood and over 2 days of boiling. I don’t know if we are going to run it next year or not but hopefully we get the privilege.

Thank you Alain for your comment the other day about getting one of these old pans for yourself. I would love to know more about it like how many channels does it have and what size it is?  Chances are you will have a blast making syrup on it. If your really ambition you might even use it for a couple of years if you don’t break your back feeding it thousands of man hours of fire wood.

But I bet you it will be the best Maple Syrup you have ever tasted.

1 – please don’t do this for any reason!
2 – never say that within ear shot of your evaporator.


Lead testing part II

I have given each company I emailed  some time to respond and here are the results.

The first person to email me back was Dave Lachance from lead inspector, he responded on the weekend with the following:

“hello dave,
thanks for the email and your inquiry.
the kits would be great to test the solder for lead.
regards,
dave lachance”

Not a huge response but it was a positive one, he also responded the quickest.

The second response was from Jennifer McIntyre from homax who simply emailed me back that they no longer carry this product.

Other than that I have not heard from anyone else. As it stands now I am ordering the Abotex lead inspector but I will continue to look for other ways to test for lead.

If anyone has information they think would be helpful please feel free to leave a comment.


Thanks again

Hello out there.

Thanks Mike for that amazing post, I completely agree with everything. Thanks to everyone for helping us out as much as they did.

Thanks to our Mom’s most definitely for helping out with keeping us fed, Mike and I would forget to eat without you.

Also thanks to Bill Smith for saving us when Canada “stupid” Post messed up shipping our thermometer. The stuff that we did not ship express showed up on time, the priority package took an extra day, which happened to be on a friday, messing up the whole weekend. Without lending us your spare we would have had to rig something up that would have never worked as well, thanks again.

Thanks to Kieth Brown for all the great information he gave us from day one. It no doubt saved us a ton of time and money. Also thanks for giving us the idea to put the sugar shack in a place with 4 walls instead of a wood shed.

Thanks to all the other syrup producers on the island that gave us equipment and advise. Dave Stadnic, Chess Wallace, Don Mancher and Kris Desjardins just to name a few.

Thanks to everyone that was there when I was not. Cody,Spenser, John,Steph,Kurt and everyone that was there to help Mike out.

Thank you to Jesse for making the 8h trip north to work in the sugarbush for 3 days just to take a 10h bus red eye bus ride back. Also the logo is phenomenal, your dedication is amazing.

Also thanks to both of our Fathers. My Dad who made it possible to get all 130L of maple syrup back down south. Also thank you Roger for your calm intelligence and problem solving skills. We will most likely both be living longer from the stress you prevented.

Thank you to my Girlfriend who has had to deal with traveling and spliting tons of firewood.

I would also like to thank my business partner and friend Mike for the insane amount of enthusiasm, resourcefulness and hard work. You alway had a positive attitude even when I did not. It has been a real treat working in a sugarbush steeped in your families history.

I look forward for many more years of syrup production!


Season #1 Is In The Books

Well we finished up on April 06, the official end of the season for Sap To Syrup’s inaugural year. What a blast. This syrupin isn’t so bad. It went by so fast we didn’t have time to go visit any of the other producers and see how things were in other bushes. But I did talk with Keith Brown and Bill Smith, it seems everyone had the same type of year. Low sugar content and dark syrup. We didn’t mind at all though, we were making syrup! YEEE HA. I still can’t sleep a full night being so acustom to getting up to stoke the arch. I still wake about every hour or so. 

 I went through the log book and did a count on how much syrup we actually made, 130 Litres is my count. I think it is right on the money. 

We had quite the sound track this year as well. The sat radio came in handy. The 40′s 50′s 60′s 70′s and even the 80′s were some of  finger snapping melodies we were groving to. If singing to syrup as it boils makes it taste better then we should have the best. The firewood music was supplied by a fellow islander that I used to work with at Thompson’s Maple products, the band is called The BREAKMEN. A real treat and fast becoming favorite of mine. You can check them out at http://www.thebreakmen.com/ They are a folk/Blue grass group. Great music to keep the spirit up while slaving away at the mundane task of firewood.

For our first year we had a few minor problems with getting to know how everything is going to run. Most problems were due to being distracted by the thousand things going on around us. The vacuum pump flooded a few times, over filling the gravity tank was always a fun one when Dave was sitting beneath it, or flooding the pan over the float box,  and my favorite, forgetting to close the valve on the sap storage tank and getting excited watching the extractor pump over several times before realizing it haha. Oh well we needed to learn the hard way on some things I guess.

Dave and I would like to thank all of our friends and family that helped and supported us in this endeavor.  We couldn’t have done it with out you. Especially our Moms who couldn’t stand the thought of us starving ourselves, and brought wonderful meals on wheels.

Well in closing I must say I miss it already and can’t wait for next year, and I know Dave feels the same.  We plan on a few upgrades to the setup so stay tuned for some updates on our progress.

The memories layed down this year will last a life time.

Cheerio

Mike


lets get selling

So I’m all ready to start selling my maple syrup through Craig’s list. I must say that I am pretty happy about how it’s going so far. I can’t decide whether I should sell it all directly myself or whether I should find a health food store or grocery store in the area that would like to purchase it. There is still the online way of doing it but again I have a limited supply.

I’ve also noticed that there is maple syrup in this  area that is certified organic. I don’t really know how to go about getting my maple syrup certified organic but I can say it was probably made more “organically” than any other type of syrup in the area (wood fired).

I have uploaded a picture of all of the stuff I brought back from St. Joseph Island. I also finished up the labels that I’m going to put on the maple syrup to drive people to the website so they can see exactly where this maple syrup comes from. I think this is a real selling feature to the product.


The start of something beautiful

Well it looks like I’m going to be expanding my maple syrup career. I was up north on St. Joseph  Island and I got to talking with a very good friend of mine  Mike Garside.  Mike is on the far end of the island at a beautiful hunting camp in the middle of the woods.  his grandfather and father both used to work in the Sugarbush that is on the property. Mike and I started chatting and thought maybe we should revisit the Bush and bring it back to life.

Mike and I go back a long way our first adventure together and commerce was our firewood business. My father had logged  are old property and the logger had left all the tops of the trees in the back of the Bush. After leaving all these tops four a year Mike and I collected an old truck, wood splitter, a chainsaw and a hell of a lot of work. It was one of the better working relationships I’ve had in my life.

We had a chance to walk the Sugarbush and made a rough estimate of about 800 taps in full  Bush. In the first year though I don’t believe we  will try to put in all the taps  for now we would be content with 400.  Some of the old equipment is still there like a beautiful  stainless steel boiling pans. It also helps that there’s power out there and a cornucopia of odds and ends that you’d don’t know you need until you need them.

Well are on our way for another adventure that’s for sure. At least now I’m going to have something to talk about on a regular basis on my blog. It’s incredible how much I’ve been lacking in the last little while I apologize to anyone who  has come here hoping to find new content.

I plan to be investing a little bit more time and effort into this website I know I always say that by this time I’m going to as I want to begin selling our beautiful woodfired maple syrup online.

Stay tuned for some more updates and check out my broken bone.

The scaphoid is broken

The scaphoid is broken


The Price of Maple Syrup

Since I have come back from N.O. I have been trying to figure out what the price of maple syrup is in Toronto. I only brought about 10L back with me and have been worried about making sure the price I charge is accurate.

I figured I would go somewhere that is known for the Low Low prices and see how much they were selling it for.

Turns out that 250 ml of Amber sells for $6.37 and 375 ml sells for $8.17. So this give me a bit of a base to go on, I think.  I still have a number of other place to check out in the area but at least I can start doing some figuring. I still have to factor in how I am going to get all of this stuff down here.

On another note I received an email Thursday the 16th from a friend on the island. Turns out that time they were still making Light and extra light in most of the bushes last week. I can’t believe that the season is lasting so long, it’s pretty wild.
He was talking about putting together a small operation at his hunting camp next year. It sounds pretty cool to me but once you have a vacuum system it is hard to go back to collecting buckets again. Still it makes a lot of sense to put together a nice little operation like this, try to do something relatively on my own before I invest in a large bush. Of course everyone this year is thinking about expanding because of how amazing it has been.

Next year I hope to employ a few people from Toronto at Bill’s place, it might give me some time to work in more than one bush (I am sure that I am being very naive). Regardless I have started crunching some numbers to see if I can make this into a viable business. Lord knows there is a demand down here.


Back to High speed

Ohh how I love high speed internet, I can just log in and post something in about 30-40 seconds rather than hours and hours.

So I am back in Toronto and ready to head over to a buddies place for Easter Sunday supper. I had a bit of a problem at the airport as I loaded up my bag to much with syrup. The nice ladies at the check in said they would get rid of some of it for me. The one nice thing about syrup is that everyone wants it no matter where you go.

I was checking out one of my favorite design website when I came accross this picture.

It makes me think of all the time I spend screwing with firewood this year. Hopefully next year it won’t be an issues. I guess if you are going to make wood fired syrup than you have to split firewood.


New Url – New Site

Hello

I have been working to create a new theme for this site and I think it looks pretty good. Word press is a very powerful and helpful tool for web developers. I want to put a bit more work into this site to see if I can keep it going all year. I found this fun little picture in my travels in cyber space.

vermont Owned

Someone was not thinking when they put this picture together!


Epilog

Well I just got off the phone with good ol’ Billy Smith. Seems It was one of the worst years that he ever had in his bush as far a production was concerned. My plane left about 48 hours early and I missed the last big run. It was one of the best vacations that I have had in a long time. It’s great to do something that you did in your youth and know that you are going to keep doing it until you’re an old man.

I look forward to next year and being back on the island all over again.