More than just sap flowing at ceremonial first tap in Woolwich

Taken From: ObserverXtra

It’ll be remembered as the first tap that was more like the last tap.

On Feb. 24, maple syrup producers and politicians gathered on Dan and Heather Goetz’s Woolwich farm, Shady Grove, for the ceremonial first tapping of a sugar maple.

“Today we are celebrating the first tapping of a sugar maple to formally kick off the 2017 season and I said this last year, and Fred Martin said, we should be changing this to the last tapping because most of us have already had two or three boils already. It’s hard to believe. And last year we thought was really early,” president of the Waterloo-Wellington Maple Syrup Producers Association, Terry Hoover, said with a laugh.

Elmira Maple Syrup Festival committee chair Drew McGovern welcomed the crowd and announced the winner of the festival’s maple syrup competition – Maple Tap Farms, for the second year running.

The festival will be buying exclusively Maple Tap Farms syrup to serve at the pancake tent on Apr. 1 – a benefit that comes with the win.

Hoover explained this is the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association’s 51st year, which began because of a need to collectively work together.

“The maple industry contributes over $60 million to the Canadian economy, close to 2,000 direct jobs and over $12 million in taxes to three levels of government and we are growing by an average of five to eight per cent by year,” Hoover said.

Special congratulations to Maple Tap Farms, another good year. Thank you for your participation,” Albrecht said.

“And it’s great to see the innovative technology that’s being used to improve the quality and the quantity of maple syrup that’s produced.”