Organizers of the annual maple syrup celebration that’s coined Maple In The County have made the difficult decision to cancel the beloved event for a second year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. But not all is lost for those who love the sweet Canadian staple as Maple has veered virtual in 2021 with local producers offering delicious maple treats for curb-side pickup and in a limited quantity of Maple In The County To-Go-Bags.
“The community support for maple producers remained very high with folks reaching out to their favourite sugarbushes to arrange a safe pick up of maple syrup and other maple products,” stated Michelle Nyman, member of the Maple in the County Marketing Committee. “This was experienced by all sugar bushes and not just during the 2020 syrup season but throughout the year. Supporting local businesses has always been a strong concept practiced in the County but the support this year we’ve been shown is overwhelming and we are all very appreciative.”
There will be 125 Maple In The County To-Go-Bags available and filled with local maple treats such as syrup, pancake mix, activities, etc. Each bag costs $40 with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation (PECMHF). The bags can be reserved and paid for online and picked up March 27-28 at various locations throughout the county.
“Doing the to-go bags and curbside pick up means we are keeping our community safe although we are missing some of the personal touch,” Nyman expressed. “We are all missing hosting people at our sugar shacks and the joy of showing off our craft but we are excited to bring it back when we can do it safely.”
Along with the joys of producing sweet maple treats, producers can experience struggles and delays for multiple reasons.
“Producers like all businesses have had to adjust and reinvent marketing strategies and product delivery,” said Nyman. “An example being how Maple in the County has done the to-go Bags. Other businesses have started online sales. Another issue producers have faced is product availability such as bottles etc being delayed or unavailable.”
Producers with maple items in the county include Fosterholm Farms, Nyman Farms, County Shores Farms, Justin’s Maple Syrup, LOHA Farms, Waupoos Estate Winery & Restaurant, Walts Sugar Shack, Sweetwater Cabin, Sugarbush Vineyards, Roblin’s Maple Syrup, Strictly Maple, Vader’s Maple Syrup and Three Dog Winery.
With roller coaster tempratures forcasted for the next couple of weeks, maple producers are primed to collect lengthy runs.
“This week is shaping up to be a mad rush of sap” Nyman expressed to The Gazette. “There should be lots of sweet smoke coming from sugar shacks this week as the weather is looking above 0…Let the craziness syrup season begin!”
To find out how to pick up some sweet maple treats in a safe manner please contact your favourite Maple In The County producer to see what items they have available.
For more information on Maple In The County please visit www.facebook.com/Maple-in-the-County-Festival-722570894500019/
For more information on PECMHF please visit https://pecmhf.ca