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It’s all in the Family – Staples Maple Syrup

The Staples family have always had a taste for maple; in 1813 the original Staples wrote back to Ireland about the sweet sap from the local maple trees. Generations later as a young lad in Ontario, Robert Staples convinced his father to let him tap the maple trees lining their driveway – along with an old iron kettle and his love for maple, the rest as we say, is history. 

As Robert grew, so did his passion for making maple syrup. Robert expanded, tapping more trees with a greater number of buckets, and in 1973 Robert expanded from a bucket and spile operation to a much more sophisticated pipeline system. With a pipeline the sap runs from each tap in a collection of trees and is transported directly to the sugar shack to be boiled down – no more collecting and emptying buckets. In 2000 the operation expanded again to include 3500 taps; every tap can provide up to 40 litres of sap which, boiled down, makes one litre of syrup. The Staples farm effectively produces in excess of 3500 litres of syrup a year.

Robert and his wife Jill have won many awards for their syrup, including the Royal Winter Fair Maple Syrup Championship – 4 times! They are federally inspected, and members of the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association. They take pride in the cleanliness of their equipment which ensures a superior product is produced. They are also certified organic.

With no outside employees, Robert and Jill enlist help from their kids, Mark and Meghan, along with their spouses. Jill explains that even her grandkids, aged 6 and 9, get in on the fun, checking pipelines for leaks and filling jars. Mark is becoming more involved in the business each year to carry on the family tradition.

Syrup isn’t the only thing they make; their maple butter, granulated maple sugar, maple candy and suckers are popular as well.

Generally, the maple season begins mid February when the sap begins to run – but as Jill tells us, this year might be into March as temperatures need to be a consistent 5 degrees during the day and -5 degrees at night (or below freezing). It has been too cold this February to get the sap really running yet. Their season usually runs into the 2nd week of April. 

You can find Staples Maple Syrup in the Millbrook Foodland, Kyoto Coffee, at the Saturday Market in Peterborough (Morrow Building), and at the Oshawa Centre Market on Fridays. The Staples also offer online shopping, shipping and local porch pickup at their farm. 

If you would like to visit the Staples at their Sugar Shack, they invite you to give them a call; if they are in, you are welcome for a free tour – they love sharing with people where their food comes from.   705 944 5501
439 Highway 7A, Cavan

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