We love Quinn Farm, it is on of our all year around favorites! The Farm is close to Montréal and it is perfect to go with kids of all ages (ok 0-8)! Depending on the season you learn about the different products to harvest. And of course you can pick up your own seasonal fruits and veggies! Climbing up the apple trees or hiding in the corn fields, are only a few things we did. One fun factor is the tractor ride on the property. To make sure your kiddos get rid of their energy, they can run around on the playground, have a walk in the small labyrinth or get in touch with the farm animals. Just to mention a few things! Last weekend we went for a cabane à sucre „light“.
Cabane à sucre (sugar shack) „light“
A must do in Quebec this time of a year! But what does it stand for? When people here talk about a cabane à sucre, they are talking about the event of getting fresh maple syrup! Season is now and traditionally people go to one of the many farms, to see part of the process. But most likely to have fun with family and friends, while having a great meal where almost everything is topped with – tatatata- maple syrup! Veggies are rather cooked with, meat is served with a sauce of and tarts are made of maple syrup!!! And if this is not enough you will always have a bottle of fresh produced syrup to add. After such a sugar shack you might have a sugar shock, but that’s part of the deal.
Why do I call it sugar shack light? Saturday we only did the small version. We went to Quinn Farm, to have some fun and to make big J learn a bit about the process of maple syrup production, but we skipped the meal part. On the farm they do it for kids and make them be there little helpers. First we jumped on the tractor to get a lift to the trees. Big J was responsible for the bucket! Proud she was. Once we stopped, the farmer explained how it works and the kiddos did a great job. They drilled the whole, put the tap and located the bucket. To see immediately the first drops of the maple juice.
What a surprise, the liquid is white, not brown. On the way back the farmer explained a bit more of the farm. Last stop is the little house where the oven is located to produce the tasty syrup. The oven is heated with wood and the tubs are filled with the juice, which is cooked until it becomes our well known, good tasty brownish fluid – called maple syrup.
To finish the cabane à sucre „light“, some warm, good smelling syrup is taken out for the finish – one of my highlights! The warm syrup is poured on ice to become tight enough to roll your own fresh maple lolly!!! I love the taste and the texture. Not to soft and not to hard, just perfect. And yes we had a few LOL.
So if ever you are in and around Montréal and looking for something typical to do this season, come here and have some fun with your kids.
Did you know ?
- That over 80% of the world’s maple syrup production is based in Canada, especially Quebec?
- That maple season is from February-April?
- That the the juice/fluid is white?
- That a tree needs to be at least 40 years to be taped?
- That one tree gives 30-50 liter per season? (it needs about 2 weeks)
- That you need 40 liter of juice to get 1 liter of maple syrup?!
- That the juice needs to be processed within 24 hours?
- That the trees protect themselves and give only as much juice as it is healthy for them?
- That quality and taste are depending on the time of harvesting? (Early harvest is the best!)
- That the lighter the syrup, the milder the taste is?
- That maple syrup, pure one, is the one of the top 3 healthiest sweeteners?
- That fresh self made lollies, are my favourite form of maple syrup?
Joking aside, my first real sugar shack 3 years ago I didn’t enjoy that much. It took me some time to become friend with maple syrup. But now I can highly recommend to take the advantage of joining such an event, if ever you get the possibility. Either the full or light version of a cabane à sucre. Most probably you will get convinced and your kids will have fun!