Maple Syrup Season in Ottawa - Temple's Sugar Bush

KITC would like to welcome back guest blogger, Stephen Johnson. Stephen Johnson is an Ottawa writer who loves to write about family travel.  During the summer, you will most likely find him and his family at a local fair or festival. During the winter, a beach in Mexico is a likely bet.  


When I first moved to Ottawa from Saskatchewan nineteen years ago,  one of the things I loved about Ottawa was visiting a sugar bush every March and April to load up on pancakes and maple syrup.   Saskatchewan grows and produces many great things but maple syrup is not one of them.

Visiting a sugar bush has now become a tradition for our family.   This year, we decided to check out Temple’s Sugar Bush, located on Lanark County Road 15 - Ferguson Falls Road.

The first thing that had made me want to visit the sugar bush was the post and beam timber frame construction of the main building.  Built in 2007, the construction style does not use steel and girders with the giant pine beams held in place by hand whittled wood dowels.  Entering the main building, I was not disappointed. It felt like I had stepped into the Chateau Montebello or an elegant wood frame construction from a hundred years ago.   

Temples Sugar Bush.jpg

Our son,  David, also liked the architecture but was more interested in the buffet.   We were seated at communal tables that allowed for easy conversation. The buffet was expansive and delicious.   There were the items you would expect like pancakes, sausages, beans and eggs. Other less obvious items included salad, breakfast biscuits  and yogurt giving variety to the traditional buffet Of course, the most important feature was the maple syrup which is made on-site.

The best part of the buffet was the taste! Nothing was from a can and tasted homemade. You didn’t see shrivelled up sausages that had been under a heat lamp for hours.  The chef brought out fresh items regularly keeping everyone happy.

David at Temple's Sugar Bush.jpg

I also appreciated the friendly and prompt service.   Even though there was a large crowd, there were enough staff on hand to make sure everyone’s coffee cups were full.  

One other aspect I enjoyed was that there was not loud music being played or over the loudspeakers allowing for conversation without having to yell.  My dad was visiting us from Saskatchewan so having an animated conversation together with David and my wife, Sandy is a memory I will treasure.

After our hearty meal,  we had a chance to meet Charles Temple who shared with us his story.  “I had dropped out of the University of Toronto and wasn’t sure what to do with my life,” offered Temple.  “I remembered fond childhood memories of making maple syrup at my mother’s family farm. I decided I wanted to set up my own sugar camp.  I started off modestly and eventually had my own farm with a sugar bush. Things evolved and we eventually purchased our current property with a vow to open a restaurant.  That has brought us to today with our restaurant.”

Mr. Temple or as he preferred to be called, Charlie, was also kind enough to show us where the sap from the maple trees was boiled and the process to turn it into maple syrup.   

We wrapped our time at Temple’s by walking the nature trail to try and burn off some of the calories we had gained at the buffet.  We walked long enough to probably justify two pancakes and one sausage. Oh well, that will mean just one more bike ride in the spring.

If you go - Temple’s Sugar Bush restaurant is typically open from March 1 -  end of April. The rest of the year, the facility serves as a popular wedding venue. The buffet is served weekends and holidays with the menu being offered Wednesday - Friday.  Expect larger crowds on the weekend but when we went, there wasn’t a lineup and people were served promptly. There is also a small store on-site selling maple products.

If you want to extend your trip, there is a cheese store and Amish furniture store in nearby Balderson.  The historic town of Perth is about a twenty minute drive from Temple’s.


Disclaimer: Stephen and his family were comped for their meal at Temple’s Sugar Bush, but all opinions are his own.

Easter Weekend Roundup

I've been hearing about several great events coming up for both Easter and Earth Day, so I thought I'd share them here! Easter and Earth Day go together quite well, don't you think? Spring is here, the bunnies are multiplying, and the Earth is....well...a bit muddy. Place D'Orleans Easter activities - photo spots with the Easter bunny are all booked up, but there will be free face painting and crafts! Thursday April 17th, 10am - 2pm

Proulx Sugar Bush and Berry Farm: Good Friday and Easter Sunday, 11am - 2pm. An egg hunt, face painting and clue hunt!

Earth Day at Terra20: Saturday April 19th, 12 - 4pm. Lots of kid-friendly activities!

The Canada Agriculture Museum is open every single day this weekend!

The Cumberland Heritage Village Museum has an Easter egg hunt with Curious Cottontail!

Fulton's Pancake House and Sugar Bush - maple syrup...pancakes....say no more!

Stay tuned later this week for some super yummy craft/snack ideas for Easter!

 

 

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FLASHBACK: Sugar Bushes: Sand Road Maple Camp

It's maple season! We've had some great posts in the past about sugar bushes so will be re-posting some.  If you've had a wonderful sugar bush experience we'd love to hear about it! By Rebecca

Today we took the kids on our annual sugar bush trip. We go for pancakes, running around outside, real maple syrup and maple sugar candy.

Sugar bushes (or camps, or shacks or pancake houses or farms depending on where you go) is nothing new for me. I grew up in Eastern Ontario, near Quebec and was surrounded by them. School trips were always planned and I went to a prom at one. Seriously. I've written about this and my love for maple syrup in the past.

I am excited that my children get to relive my love for the sugar bush (and they certainly share my love for maple syrup). There was a huge maple tree on the property of one of my homes growing up. It flowed with sap each year. We would sometimes put a bucket on it for fun, but there wasn't enough to make syrup.

My grandfather, a farmer, tapped some trees on his property and would boil the sap and make syrup. It was a dark syrup as I remember it and it was delicious. We would dip buttered bread in it or pour it over bananas. Maple syrup over white rice is still a favourite snack of mine.

This picture was taken at the sugar bush today, but my grandpa had a pot just like it!

Today's trip was to the Sand Road Maple Camp. It's near Moosecreek, about a 50 minute drive East of Ottawa. It's worth the drive.

First, the drive doesn't seem that long (although, remember we are often taking drives like that with the kids!) and once you get there the food assures you that it was worth it.

Oh, the food. We decided on the buffet for all of us. $14.95 for each adult and $4.95 for the kids. If you prefer you can order off the menu, single items etc. But since our kids love pancakes and the trimmings, plus they got juice, it was worth it.

The choices were pancakes (of course!) with unlimited delicious syrup, scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, baked beans (these were amazing), sausages and bacon. Not just any bacon, but deep fried smoked pork jowls. I know. But it was so so good! ( I don't have a good picture of the food because we were eating it plus when I took pictures of the kids, I dropped my phone in my beans!)

My 2 year old ate beans and a huge pancake. My son had nearly 2 pancakes and some bacon. When I asked him how he was liking it, he simply said 'it's AWESOME!'.

As for the syrup, it was wonderful. Had that traditional smokey, sweet flavour a sugar bush syrup should have. Incredible. I left feeling very satisfied.

The ground was a little muddy, and the weather turning so we didn't stay too long after but did walk around for a bit. There is only a small play structure for the kids, so don't expect a lot of play time that way, but mine were happy to walk around exploring the trees for a bit.

Naturally, I also left with maple sugar candy.

Go to enjoy the drive, stay to enjoy the amazing food!

The camp doesn't require reservations, is open Tuesday-Sunday 9-4 and until April 25. Take the drive and enjoy!

Rebecca blogs about family and motherhood, is a self-professed foodie, and dabbles in online engagment and community giving.  She has a strange love for maple syrup that can possibly only be matched by her love for chocolate and coffee.
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Flash Back: It's Maple Syrup Time

by Natasha

Spring is just around the corner, I can almost see the sunshine at the end of this icy winter.

One of my favourite things to do when the snow begins to melt is visit a sugar bush.  Maple syrup season “officially” starts in late February, and I’m just going to wait a little bit before heading out with my family.

We love visiting Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm.  It is a wonderful way to spend a beautiful day, and is short distance from Ottawa. Parking is free too!

If you head down early, you can enjoy a delicious all-you-can-eat-pancake brunch before you start exploring the farm.  The brunch is nothing short of a feast that includes pancakes, french toast, beans and sausages served. They have a few other items on their menu as well for those looking for some variety.

My favourite part about Stanley’s Olde Farm - besides brunch- is the number of activities available to help pass the day and enjoy the outing.

For example, you can ride in a horse-drawn sleigh through the farm to see all of the maple trees. This is an especially enjoyable activity around the last few days of snow, as you get to see the trees and hills covered in white. The ride will set you back $4.75 per person.

Stanley’s farm is of course, still a farm. So it’s natural that they have animals around for little children to visit and see. The barns are filled with horses, pigs, cow and sheep and is free to visitors.

And of course the point of visiting a sugar bush is to see how the sap turns into syrup, and eventually ends up on your pancakes. Stanley’s not only let’s you see the the process, but also has some delicious taffy in snow for you to try at $2.50 per serving.

Don’t sit too long on the idea of visiting the sugar bush, as maple syrup season ends in early April. You have just over a month to get your fill of winter-fresh maple!

Details: Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm 2452 Yorks Corners Road Edwards, Ontario K0A 1V0 613-821-2751

It’s open on weekends from 9am to 3pm and they are open most of March Break (closed Monday) from 10am to 2pm.

March: What you might have missed

Spring is here... I think... maybe.... sort of.... some days....  yay! :) Here's what we talked about this past month.  (In case you want an email reminder, subscribe to our newsletter. We send out this recap, plus some information about upcoming events in the city!)

Activities for kids

We visited some polar bears and penguins at the Museum of Nature, went shopping at Value Village, explored Chinatown, and enjoyed the cold to do some tobogganing. We learnt how to throw a Fiesta of a birthday party, build things with marshmallows and spaghetti and about the fun to be had at A Gym Tale. We also saw the horses at the RCMP stables and conducted some science experiments.

The Ottawa Public Library also told us all about the Spring break programs.

Cooking

We had lots of great recipes this month for food kids love, like oatmeal and waffles and cupcakes! We also had a great post on how to cook (and keep safe) with kids in the kitchen.

Crafts

We had more crafts than usual this month (because it was too gross to go outside I imagine ;))

We talked about what to keep in your rainy day survival kit, we turned books in art, made murals, and streamer paper mache.

Out of town ideas

This one isn't too far out of town, just near Montebello.  Parc Omega is open year round and a great place to visit in the winter!

Parents in the Capital

We introduced a new bi-weekly series of posts introducing you to bloggers, who are also parents, in Ottawa.  This month we met Yumi and Ezmy and we look forward to meeting many more!

Parenting Tips

We heard about the Multiple Birth Association sale and talked about the importance of checking for change tables and highchairs at your favorite restaurants.

Social Media Monday

Blog syndication - how and with what do you do it?

Sponsors

We welcomed three new sponsors this month - The Ottawa School of Speech and Drama, the Canada Agriculture Museum and the Cow Guys.

Please remember to visit our sponsors.  They're great Ottawa businesses and they help us continue to provide Kids in the Capital to you. :)

Sugar Bushes

It's Sugar Bush season and this month we heard about Proulx Farm andStanley's Olde Maple Farm. (Have you been somewhere else? We'd love to hear about it!)

Have a great April everyone! And don't forget, if you want to share an activity, event, service or attraction for kids you love in Ottawa email us at kidsinthecapital(at)gmail(dot)com to blog for Kids in the Capital.

Enhanced by ZemantaEveryone have a great April!