March 18, 2011 by
The cycle has begun anew. Spring has come around and that means maple syrup. Because I am an avid gardener I view maple syrup as the first crop of the new season. It seems like a gift since no soil has been tilled or weeds pulled. All winter long despite my cross country skiing and winter walks I have spent too much time indoors. Now I am outside in the woods listening to the wind rustling in the trees, sinking into wet snow drifts, tapping trees, pounding in spiles and hauling pails of sap. This is just my forth year on the ‘maple syrup team’ so I am a relative newcomer to it. But my buddy Allan is a true maple syrup guru and has been at this for close to forty years. Every spring he "borrows" the woods for two weeks from farmer friends who lives on Middlebrook Road just outside of Elora. We both enjoy breaks from our regular day jobs to escape to the magic of this beautiful sugar bush. Spring is a time of new beginning and new beginnings are not always easy. As T.S. Elliot said "April is the cruelest month". I believe that new beginnings are best started with a punctuation mark, so here I am out in the woods. It is as much about the experience as it is about the final product. There is a great deal of “sweetness” in both.