Sweet spring in the sugar bush, as 2016 brings 'syrup tsunami'
Consistent temperatures yield best season in a quarter-century, Ottawa-area syrup producers say
April is here, and that normally marks the end of the short maple season. But this year, many local sugar bush operators are still finding sap in their buckets almost a month after the season began.
Many years, the syrup season is just two weeks long. But the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association says 2016 has been the province's best spring in a quarter-century, a rare syrup tsunami.
Ottawa-area producers are crediting the weather. For much of March, local temperatures haven't deviated too far from the freezing mark, hovering slightly above zero during the day, and slightly below at night.
That thermal consistency allows maple trees to push sap out through the holes drilled into their trunks during the daylight hours and vacuum up fresh groundwater at night, thus replenishing the tree's sap supply so it can begin flowing again in the morning.
If you're a syrup lover, this weekend is going to be pretty sweet. That's because it's Maple Weekend, when syrup producers across Ontario throw open their doors and welcome visitors. That's this Saturday and Sunday, April 2 and 3.
You can find a sugar bush near you here, including Fairbairn Maple, just south of Almonte.