493168 Glenelg Sideroad 49 #1, Priceville, ON N0C 1K0
Uncle Richard’s has been making maple syrup for close to 30 years now. When owner Dick O’Brien started making syrup as a hobby for friends and family, he had no intention of creating a business. Once he realized the potential that his property held with the abundance of maple trees, he turned his hobby and passion into a business and began selling it.
As consumers, when we think of maple syrup we think of carrying pails filled with sap through the bush. Today, It’s a lot more high tech than you would think.
Imagine 3,000 taps linked to the trees through pipe lines. When I first met Dick, he instantly explained his tree hugger rule. “If you can wrap your arms around a tree, you can only put a single spile in. But if it’s too big to wrap your arms around then you can put two spiles in.” He then explained the ideal temperatures for making syrup which is 5 below to 5 above.
When I asked Dick if the constant changing weather from mild to cold has any effect on the tapping season he chuckled and said that “Mother Nature plays the biggest role in the tapping process.” Due to the constantly changing mild and freezing temperatures Dick explained this year was the earliest he has ever tapped! He began tapping on February 13th. Usually, the tapping process begins in mid-March or even the end of March.
The pipelines are kept up all year round, but new holes are drilled for the spiles each year. The spiles are check valves
which keep the sap that comes out of the tree from going back into the tree. The pipelines are set up in straight lines, with no kinks allowing the maximum amount of sap to come through. A vacuum system is used which draws the sap to the pump house. It is then sent into one of two holding tanks and then through a reversed osmosis machine which removes some of the water before it enters the evaporator where it is processed into syrup. The water that is removed is then re-used to clean out the machines and lines at the end of the season. This process turns maple tree sap into pure delicious maple syrup! It is then filtered and pumped to another holding tank and is ready to be bottled!
Locals can buy Uncle Richard’s Maple Syrup at numerous stores in the area including: Top o’ The Rock, Kimberley General Store, Maxwell Meats, Ravenna General Store, The Honey House and Hindle’s Hardware in Clarksburg and Highland Grounds.
The onsite store at Uncle Richard’s sells an array of maple products. Including Maple Butter, Maple Jelly, Maple Sugar, their famous Maple BBQ Sauce and of course Maple Syrup. They also have beehives on their property and sell Life’s Essential Friend Raw Honey.
Uncle Richard’s can be reached at 1-519-369-3056 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out Uncle Richard’s Website here: http://unclerichards.com/