WE'RE PLANNING SOMETHING GOOD
Meadow Ridge Maple is relatively new and is a small part of Fischer Lind Farms Ltd (a spousal partnership between Jim and Donna Fischer, producing corn, soybeans, wheat, and forest products).
We emphasize no-till field crop production on our Walkerton area farms and sustainable forest management for the various farm woodlots and our Algonquin area forest.
Prior to 2007 we operated a 70 cow dairy herd for 30 years and it is at the back end of this 5th generation home farm where we relocated in 2005. Maple syrup production was initiated in 2016.
In 2014 we began planning ‘Meadow Ridge Maple’ with the following parameters:
The sugar camp would be located for easy public access and be constructed primarily from Ash within the bush plus materials from the former dairy barns and old farm house. It must be in close proximity to Westwind (our newer home) for a source of electricity and water.
The camp and surrounding facilities must easily accommodate the public and especially school students. We have both worked in the elementary and secondary school systems and we wished to emphasize an educational component to the maple production system.
During the sap collection and boiling process the camp must be quiet to allow for good discussion.
In 1977 (the year we began dairying) we prevented our Holsteins from accessing the bush. This indirectly has provided for a fairly even-aged stand of maples and many other tree species. This allows for 800 taps on vacuum along a ridge and down across an open meadow (Meadow Ridge).
Sugar Camp and Production
3x10 wood fired evaporator with pre-heater.
Reverse Osmosis unit (2 membranes; 240 GPH) operating in a separate insulated room.
Sap collection points are on either end of ‘events shed’ - they are connected by an underground vacuum line. Fresh cool sap is then transferred by overhead lines to the sugar camp for processing.
In 2018 we experimented by hosting a one half day pancake breakfast for approximately 300 guests in our Westwind home. In 2019 we had over 500 guests for a two morning breakfast in the sugar camp ‘events shed’. Our April 2020 ‘Maple Weekend’ was cancelled. In the future we will expand on number and types of events at one or both locations.
For the past three years our maple syrup has been marketed primarily through our ‘self-serve’ and pre order ‘porch-pickup’ sales on the Westwind porch.