Saturday, 14 April 2012

A "Sweet" Maple Time Spent Together

I was so totally excited with butterflies "flitting" around in my tummy this morning.  Rob and I were going to hang out together and go on the Annual Kemble Maple Syrup Tour , in Bruce County's Sister County of Grey in the Township of Georgian Bluffs.!

This event is a fund-raiser for the Kemble, Sarawak, Zion Keppel Pastoral Charge of the United Church of Canada.

Since my Rob wasn't able to take his "Crabby Cabbie" hat off until the wee hours of this morning, we didn't get going on the "tour" until sometime after 10:00 am.

"Here we go just heading out our driveway ... don't I look excited?  cause I am !  Rob is too, he just isn't as dramatic as I.  LOL."

You had best get yourself a beverage, sit back and relax, as there are "LOTS & LOTS OF PICTURES" !  I am thinking in all the 405 posts I have done to date,. this definitely will be the longest of them all.  I hope it is enjoyed, as Rob and I sure enjoyed ourselves.

Stop #1:  Regal Points Elk Farm ~ Eric and Dale Robinson:

"On the drive down the laneway to the Sugar Shack, there were lots of the magnificent elk to be seen."

"Just pulling into the the Sugar Shack, but for some reason it doesn't look too much like a "shack" to us."

"Now this is what outside a "Sugar Shack" used to look like I am sure ... how many years ago?"

"This what the inside of a state-of-the-art "Sugar Shack" looks like now a days."

"A demonstration was going on by the time we had arrived.  There is a lot behind the scenes that goes along with the art of making Maple Syrup."

"Check out this get-together spot, located right beside the "Sugar Shack".

Stop #2:  Chimney Ridge Buckets and Blooms ~ Chris and Nellie From:

"The pump was working to demonstrate how it is operated."

"The wood pile is "hands-on" right beside the "Sugar Shack" where it is needed."

"Here is the machinery that makes all that wonderful sap turn into golden sweetness."

Stop #3:  Dejong Acres Farm ~ Brian and Anita Dejong:

"What a wonderful surprise I received when we pulled up to see the fantastic new signage at the end of the Dejong Acres Farm lane, along with the gatekeeper for the day, Joe.  Thanks for letting us in, Joe !  I know we are pretty questionable looking characters at"

"Walking towards the "Sugar Shack" there is Anita, hard at work in there.  What a wonderful smell there was coming from this building, "Let Me Tell The World!"

"Lots more babies born since I was here last Friday, with lots more yet to come so Brian told me."

"The Dejong Guardian Maremmas were up from the fields, lapping up lots of loving from these little visitors."

Stop #4:  Van Bilsen Family Farm ~ Mark and Robin Van Bilsen:  Maple Syrup for a Hobby

"We were greeted by the Family's Blue Heeler Dog on arrival, who was planted right in front of the "Sugar Shack"."

"While there, Mark explained to us this was all homemade by himself, for a hobby and the family's personal use.  I was most fortunate to meet Robin on our way out, as she was pretty busy taking people around showing them the Farm animals."

Stop #5:  Forsyth Farms ~ Shane and Brenda Forsyth:

"This is the way it was done when I was growing up.  Tap that tree and get a pail hanging from it."

"The Forsyths' also had a demonstration going on.  Makes it all very interesting to have the visuals."

"I wonder if Brenda has these chickens trained that they lay their eggs in the baskets, so she just had to retrieve a full basket?"

"I was to personally meet Brenda Forsyth, as well as try out some of her Maple Syrup Candy. The Candy sure brought some childhood memories to mind.  Thanks Brenda."

"I couldn't resist the beauty of this road just beyond the Forsyth Farm."

"A little more breathtaking scenery on the way to our next stops."

Stop #6:  Miners' Maple Products ~ Russell and Abby Miners:

"Isn't gravity an amazing wonder?  Here is a tap with the lines running from it, branching off to a main deposit I am sure.  Opposed to the "old" style  "tap & pail"."

"How could I resist taking a shot of these Trilliums when I had already sighted them?   Are they not beautiful?"

"As we neared closer to the "Sugar Shack" this sight caught Rob's interest pretty quickly.  An old tree (that had already been dying before it had been cut down) that had been felled  a couple of weeks ago to demonstrate the method of "tapping" a tree and the "aging" of a tree."

"The Miners' son pointed out where the tree had been tapped into from prior years.  This tree was estimated at being approximately 100 years old."

"Now it is time to enter the Miners' "Sugar Shack", which was a pretty nice "shack", if I do say so myself."

"We had the pleasure of meeting Abby Miner, who had some very tasty samples of their Maple Syrup Products available.  Upon speaking further with Abby, I found out she will be at the Wiarton Farmer's Market this Summer.  Her booth will be well worth checking out if you are down that way!"

"Some tools of the "Maple Syrup" trade were on display."

"Wowsers, that is some Maple Syrup making equipment, and check out all those barrels !  I suppose when you are "tapped" into 6000 spots, this is what you need to handle all that sap gravity brings forth !"

"I briefly met Russell Miners just before Rob & I were to take our leave.  Some more pretty fancy equipment he had been explaining to a couple of other visitors."

Stop #7:  Kemble Mountain Maple Products ~ Bob and Mary Beth Gray:  No Website, sorry

"Here we are at the Kemble Mountain Maple Products "Sugar Bush", where the trees are tapped and the sap is collected."

"Just a little ways down the road is where their "Sugar Shack" is located."

"With some pretty awesome looking Maple Syrup equipment inside."

"I was pretty envious when Rob pointed out they had some "leeks" growing in their garden.  I am getting the "gardening" itch."

"Products may also be purchased at their location at 310132 Kemble Rock Road, Georgian Bluffs, Ontario."

A little bit further up the road was Kemble, which was one of the "lunch" stops on the agenda.  I was happy to be heading there, as by this time I was getting pretty hungry.
"Lunch stop !  Hooray !!!"

"The stain glass windows in this Church are totally "awesome".  Open Doors~Open Hearts~Open Minds !"

"It was a pretty happening place, with people coming and going."

"Thank goodness, people with food !"

"...and good food it was.  Homemade Baked Beans with Ham, Waffles, with Maple Syrup, of course, and sliced apples.  Coffee and Tea as well."

"The backbone behind many events like these ~ the volunteers behind the scenes."

"And of course there were the guys on the "front-line"!  When I took their picture the one gentlemen asked me if he was going to be on my wall?  Rob said I should have told him, no, but I was going to make him "famous" !  LOL."

We were off and running, once again, to our final destination, but not before ....

"Rob had to take us down one of his "cow paths" on the way there.  Just because he used to be a snowplow operator for Georgian Bluffs, didn't mean he had to get me lost and disorientated (which doesn't take much some days, lol)."

Stop #8:  Gleann An Oir Farm ~ Ian Harper and Donna-Claire McLeod:  Sorry no website

"This farm is located at 505748 Grey Road 1, Georgian Bluffs, Ontario."

"We were greeted by some pretty chickens and a handsome grey rooster, which I so happened mostly cut out of the photo."

"Right away Rob was off befriending the horses; where else?"

"We were also able to see the "Maple Syrup" setup at this location."

"There goes Donna-Claire McLeod into the house to get ...."

"....some Homemade Maple Syrup Shortbread.  Have I ever mentioned before that I have a "weakness" for shortbread?  This was oh so good.  No worries, as I got Donna's email address right off the bat, so I will be asking for this recipe."

Finally we were done the "tour", making our way home when up Road 17, we had to stop at one of the three Churches who were behind this event.

"I was told by the lady in attendance this day, that there were still a total of sixteen in the congregation.  This Church had been established in 1889 A.D."

"There was a Land & Forest Specialist in attendance, I am sure to answer any questions of interest by anyone.  There was also coffee, tea and muffins being served at this location for $2.00 for a coffee and a muffin."

Rob and I finally made it back home just before 3:00 pm, in time for him to put back on his "Crabby Cabbie" hat for the remainder of the day and evening.  We had such a wonderful day spent with each other, and both immensely enjoyed the Kemble Maple Syrup Tour.  

I hope everyone else enjoyed the tour along with us by following it here today.  Please take the time to check out some of the websites, as I am sure you won't be disappointed.  Both Rob and I would highly recommend this as an event "to do".

The tour took us just under four hours, and has just now taken me three hours to put together and blog.  It most certainly has been another "full" day away and now back here, "Just North of Wiarton & South of the Checkerboard".


  1. What a super fun day you have had!! Would love to go on a tour like this someday!!!!!!

  2. Great tour - I never realised that Maple Syrup was such and industry in Canada. Sugar syrups like CSR Golden Syrup - is more what we have in Australia - that and heaps of honey!

  3. Looks like you had a fun and busy day! Local maple syrup products sound delish.

  4. Oh gawd - you have SO many great photos here. You have displayed a really nice photospread that tells the whole story of the day. A couple of photos stood out for me - the one of the big doggie and the little kid - that's my favourite. But I also really liked the close-up of the log showing former tap sites. I even showed it to my husband - that's how interesting it was. Anyway, good luck with the contest! Hope you win!


How nice of you to drop around to have a wee visit with me to see what I have been up to from time to time. I look forward to your comments as they add much brightness to my each and every day to know there are such wonderful people out there.

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