[LAKE PAUL, NS] — The biggest maple syrup producer in the Valley had a rough season due to mild winter weather.
Shannon Casey, farm manager at Hutchinson’s Acres, said , as far as crops go, their numbers are down.
Last year, the Lake Paul business owned by Anna and Chris Hutchinson got 97 barrels of tasty syrup from its maple trees. A barrel can hold 38 gallons.
This year, however, only brought 45 barrels, less than half of last year’s total.
Casey said the short season could make for a shortage of syrup, which may in turn make the price of syrup go up.
The short season was only a minor set-back, he said.
“We’re hoping for better weather next year.”
Casey said there are more plans for Hutchinson’s Acres; it isn’t done growing yet.
“We’re new at it and still expanding,” he said.
The Hutchinsons’ have over 300 acres and hope to add another 400 acres to the land so more taps can be put in the woods.
“Hopefully we can keep ‘er going,” Casey said.
For now Hutchinsons Acres’ main focus is syrup, but it has dabbled in maple butter, and wants to start getting into specialty items.
The local syrup is mostly being sold to local pubs who are using it for cooking and it can be bought from the farm itself.
Casey said everybody who has tried it liked it and has come back for more.
“There is certainly a lot of buzz about it that’s for sure.”
Students from Acadia University are getting involved in the enterprise: doing market research to help increase production and research on a form of bacteria that makes it hard to get sap from a tree.
Casey said Hutchinson’s Acres’ staff is feeling good about collaborating with the Acadia students,
“We’re feeling pretty positive we can work with them.”