If you know me, or have been reading from this little blog for any time at all, you would know that I love to live off the land. I have this desire to live in simpler times when you worked the land to survive. Unfortunately, that is not the century that I was born in and I actually enjoy being a working woman and Netflix. But as much as I possibly can, I try to do some "homesteading" things that interest me. Knitting, quilting, canning and growing a garden.
I have a love of maple syrup. I have been using it as a sugar alternative since November in many things I bake and in my daily coffee. We have a few really good sugar bush operations around us where you can get syrup or from the store as we are lucky to have 95% of the Canadian maple syrup is made here in Quebec. The down side is the price! It can be around $15 for 500 mL. I could easily go through a liter or more in a month.
Our farm is very old and I am proud to be 5th generation to be living at working here. My great-great grandfather William Hamilton, settled here from Ireland. When he first settled, he lived in a sod shanty. Years later, he and his new wife were able to afford to build a log home. The year of 1886 William Hamilton and his wife Emma Ruth (Hobbs) Hamilton already had four kids, Robert Frederick Millard, William Nobel (my great grandfather), Oderia Mabel Mae and Loretta Mildred. That year they had their third son, Wellington Sadler and moved into the new log home. That was also the year that great great grandfather planted all the sugar trees on the 5th Concession at the farm.
Many years later my great Grandfather, William Nobel could begin tapping the now big enough Maple trees! My Aunt Elaine tells the story of having to keep the fire going with her brother Hillis (my grandfather) while her Dad took the team of horses around the farm to collect all the sap. She mentioned how they had to be very careful not to burn it. She would then help to finish the syrup inside the house with her mother Eleanor Maye Faris.
Many of these big maples have since been cut down but some still remain and it has been my goal to tap them again to make syrup! And it gave me a lot of pride to do so this year with my family! Not only was I able to get a sweet treat from these trees but I was going to be doing something my ancestors did many years before me.