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Sophie checking a sap bucket ~1989~

A Little History About Maple Syrup



Canada makes more than 80 percent of the world's maple syrup. Long before European settlers arrived, Canada's Native peoples were making a dark sugar from the sap of maple trees. In the spring, they made a diagonal incision in the trunk and inserted a strip of bark at the lower end of the cut to serve as a spile. The sap was collected in birchbark containers and then poured into hollowed-out logs. Rocks heated in a fire were placed in the sap to heat and evaporate it. Slowly the sap became syrup and eventually sugar. Early settlers learned from the Aboriginals and began making maple syrup to supplement their diets. They used spiles and wooden pails to collect the sap, which was boiled in the open in iron kettles. The art was handed down from generation to generation and is now part of our heritage. Over the years, the methods and equipment have greatly improved. Today, maple syrup production flourishes on a number of Canadian farms.


How we started


Get to know the Garland family and our passion for all maple/sugar products. You can always come visit us at the Garland Sugar Shack in Vars or come see us at the Orleans Farmers' Market on Thursdays, the Kanata Farmers' Market and/or the Westboro Farmers' Market on Saturdays, and the Ottawa Farmers' Market or Barrhaven Farmers' Market on Sundays.


Our maple syrup production, consisting of 5,000 taps and expanding, all started like most producers with a few hundred taps with buckets and boiling on a box stove. Our family operation now consists of a 4'x16' wood-fired evaporator with sap collected from 4 different bushes of a mix of soft and hard maples with the help of a pipeline and vacuum pump. 


As a compliment to the production of maple syrup, we've added transformation of our liquid gold to make these lip-smacking products: Maple butter, maple candies, maple jelly, maple sugar, maple tarts, maple cones, maple popcorn and maple cotton candy.


Our newest addition to the family of maple sweetness is our maple wine!

A beautiful moment... Grandpa & James ~1994~



How It's Made

We had the wonderful opportunity to have Stereokroma come down to our sugar shack and film an episode on their show demonstrating how Maple Syrup is made!!


"In this episode, we join the Garland family on their century-old farm where they gather maple sap from trees in the area and transform it into delicious liquid gold."


Maple syrup can be transformed into maple butter and maple candy by using machines to change its crystal structure. It can be transformed into maple sugar by further dehydration. In this video, you will see a continuous shot of this transformation which really looks like magic because it’s so fast and dramatic.


AGRICOM - Une sucrerie flambant neuve pour la famille Garland

March 10, 2017


Here's a wonderful news article by AGRICOM!

​Pour Ivan Garland la passion pour les sucres remonte à l’enfance. Il était encore à la petite école lorsqu’on lui permet d’entailler une centaine d’érables sur la terre familiale à Vars, dans l’Est ontarien.

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AGRICOM - Le vin d’érable fait son entrée dans les marchés fermiers

March 9, 2018


Here's a wonderful news article by AGRICOM!

Grâce aux pressions et aux démarches de la famille Garland, les vins d’érable et les vins à base de miel, pourront maintenant être vendus dans les marchés fermiers de l’Ontario.

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