It takes 100 west coast bigleaf maples to produce the 1,000 litres of sap needed to keep one Salt Spring Restaurant in maple syrup.
According to Harbour House Hotel owner, Jack Woodward, he purchased an original evaporator never realizing its full potential. “I had no idea five years ago that this would take off the way it has.” Woodward adds, “I bought it thinking that I would be a lone hermit in the woods making maple syrup, and had no idea it would be successful, let alone that anyone else would be interested.” But the idea has caught on creating a cottage industry on Vancouver Island that has led to festivals, syrup boils and tasty treats.
Already on the organic farm at Harbour House, located behind the property, it has amassed hundreds of litres of sap that is frozen and stored for the maple syrup boil. It takes an entire day to process the sap. This is due to the sugar content of BC’s bigleaf maples. In Ontario the sugar content is 4% but in BC, the bigleaf maple is only 1%. ‘Bigleaf Maples’, grow naturally on the property and the event offers a rare opportunity to experience an authentic maple syrup boil while tasting award winning maple syrup from previous years. Guests are then treated to a special maple syrup menu. The restaurant chef uses maple syrup in dessert recipes from crème brulée to smoking bacon and ham to enhance the flavour.