Autumn 2017

Autumn 2017

Monday, March 25, 2013

a visit to a real sugar camp

The sugar camp is between the two barns.

Guess what?  I actually went to a sugar camp today and it was just up the road at our neighbour's farm.  They are even related to us, and I'd forgotten they have a sugar camp.

My friend Lois came up for lunch and a visit then suggested we walk up to visit Deb and see if she was boiling sap.  I called and found out she was so we walked up.  It was a cold walk but not very far.

That is the smoke coming out of the sugar camp chimney.  The traditional vent on the roof is open to allow the steam to escape.

The sap was collected from the sap cans on the maples trees on the farm into these 50 gallon barrels.  It is very clear, a watery consistency, and tastes like slightly maple flavoured water.  The sap is pumped into a vat in the camp then runs by gravity in the vat below.

The sap is boiling in this vat.  The sap in the back 2 sections is coming in fresh and the sap in the front too has been boiled down.

This is the sap pouring into the vat.

The vat is sitting on a wood fired stove.

The fire is stoked every 7 to 10 minutes to keep it the right temperature.  Deb, with Amy's help, spends the whole day out here tending the fire and draining the sap.  It's a long process and a very long day.  

That's Deb on the right and her daughter-in-law, Amy, on the left.  They are very busy farm wives.

Me, Lois and Deb

Lois and Deb went to school together and I met them both at Bible school over 40 years ago.  We've been friends for a long time.

The fiery furnace stove.

The sap is strained 2 different times before it's bottled.

Some of the many bottles of pure New Brunswick maple syrup to be shared with family and friends.
{We even got a bottle to take home}

Yummy amber liquid that is as sweet as spring itself.

I hope you enjoyed my visit to a real sugar camp.

Thank you all so much for your recent visits and comments.  I appreciate it very much.




  1. Mmmmmm, I can just smell that boiling sap. There's nothing like visiting a real sugar camp in the spring... I always really miss my Dad in the spring, when I remember his sugar camp...
    Thanks for the great memories!

  2. This was so fun, Pamela. I’ve never been to one either. I didn’t even have to bundle up to see how it’s done. What a great tour.

  3. This was fun to see, educational too. Bottled up and looking delicious! Let us know how it tastes Pamela . . .

  4. Oh you got the real deal and may I ask if you found the elusive Grade B? Don't you love the smell of a sugar shack? So delightful!

  5. Nothing like pure maple syrup!!! This was great and very interesting. I have seen many buckets hanging from the trees over the years but only have been in a sugar shack once and it was during the summer. Thanks for taking me along. I really enjoyed it.

    Nice picture of you and your long time friends!

  6. This was so interesting Pamela. I don't think I've ever really seen how maple syrup is made. We love it and are never without the real thing in the refrigerator. Vee mentions the smell of the sugar shack...oh wow...would love a sniff button.

  7. Thanks for sharing your visit to the sugar camp. I will probably never get to see one.

  8. Interesting to see how it is done! Enjoyed your post, Pamela. : )

  9. I am thinking the aroma at the sugar camp must be awesome! Lucky you to have a bottle of homemade maple syrup!

  10. Very interesting! We made an unplanned stop to buy molasses a couple of years ago at a farm. It was not during wintertime and I remember feeling sorry for the folks working in the production area. Very, very hot! I was too shy to ask if I could take photos.

  11. Those real sugar shacks are getting to be rare. What a good afternoon that must have been! After reading your last syrup post I went to the kitchen and made pancakes, just as a vehicle for maple syrup!

  12. Oh what fun you must have had! I visited a sugar camp not far from Montreal several years ago, it was fascinating. And it had a restaurant connected to it, a real old fashioned kind where you sat on homemade wooden benches at homemade wooden tables. Fun!
    I'm sure your syrup is very yummy!
    Hugs, Cindy

  13. I can almost taste it. Thanks for sharing.
    Farmhouse hugs,

  14. Thanks for the tour of the maple syrup making facility. I love the stuff! I bet it smelled heavenly in there.

  15. So interesting! And how nice to live near friends for so long a time --- and you guys look like you have the right equipment to be out in that kind of weather, walking!

  16. Pamela
    You did such a good job of describing the whole maple syruping process!
    Those ladies sure have a lot of patience sitting there most of the day.
    Our neighbors have their own sugar shack, so we are blessed every Spring
    with fresh syrup too. It sure hasn't warmed enough here for the sap to run
    yet though! But we are getting sunshine-yeah!

  17. This was such an interesting post, Pamela. Nothing like pure maple syrup! Yum!!
    Mary Alice

  18. I can taste it from here!!! Bet it is deeelicious!!
    I see you are wearing your puffy coat again, Pam...hahaha...
    Soon time to put it away, eh??
    Have a lovely Easter weekend...

    Linda :o)

  19. This was a fun post. Loved seeing the wood fire used to boil the sap. You and your friends look like you really enjoy each others company! Enjoy the maple syrup!

  20. post script : Sunday Morning did a feature on Sugar Shacks. Their coverage did not hold a candle to your tour, Pamela. Thanks, so very much, again.


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