Jean-Guy Fontaine, left, and his son Dinis Fontaine assisted Roch Fortin of Maple Roch in Summerland with the production of maple syrup last week. Sap from trees in Quebec was added to sap extracted from trees in Summerland for the boiling process. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

Summerland trees tapped for maple syrup

Father and son from Quebec assist Maple Roch in producing syrup

It was a celebration of maple syrup as experienced syrup producers from Quebec assisted with the production of syrup in Summerland.

Denis Fontaine and his father Jean-Guy Fontaine assisted Roch Fortin of Maple Roch with the production of the syrup.

A wood-fired boiler was set up behind the store on Victoria Road North as they extracted syrup from the maple sap.

“We’ve got 110 years of experience in maple syrup making,” Fortin said.

The boiler was set up last week on Wednesday and Thursday, and the extraction took place on Friday.

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While Canada is a major maple syrup producer, almost all the maple syrup comes from trees in Quebec and New Brunswick.

“They were so surprised to see we could actually do maple syrup right here in Summerland,” Fortin said.

He added that the Summerland syrup has a high sugar content.

The Summerland business first tried tapping maple trees in the community and producing syrup last year.

This year, he has tapped 100 trees in the community.

Because there are a limited number of maple trees available for syrup, Fortin and the Fointaines brought in some maple sap from Quebec, which was mixed with local sap to produce around six litres of syrup.

Fortin hopes to be able to produce more syrup, this time entirely from Summerland trees, starting this week.

He said temperatures ranging from 4 to -4 are ideal for tapping the maple trees and extracting the sap for syrup production.

By the time production is completed, he is hoping to have 60 litres of syrup produced.

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