Pelham maple syrup farm a lock to be the farthest south in Canada

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Published March 18, 2022 at 3:45 pm

While Richard and Amanda Bering of White Meadows Farm in Pelham were recently honoured by the town's beautification committee, the fact is they own Canada's southernmost pure maple syrup farm. (Photo: Town of Pelham)

Recently, White Meadows Farm in Pelham was honoured by the town’s beautification committee for their “community and tourism initiatives, as well as their environmental and conservation resourcefulness.”

While that’s very nice and no doubt deserved recognition, owners Richard and Amanda Bering have a much larger feather in their cap.

That is simply it is almost a certainty that the farm is the furthest south of any maple syrup producers in Canada. A simple look at the map would seemingly confirm that as most maple syrup farms are towards the northern end of producing provinces.

After all, Lanark County, the “Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario” is 50 km due west of Ottawa. As well, the vast majority of Canada’s maple syrup is produced in Quebec. As the leading maple syrup producer in Canada, “La belle province” has by far the largest number of maple farms and, as a result, the most maple taps.

Now the fourth generation to work the farm, Richard and Amanda told the Pelham Beautification Committee, which confers honours on one business per month, that when the farm started in the 1930, it was mixed use – dairy cows, grapes (hugely common in Niagara) and cash crops for grocers.

These days, they’re 100 per cent pure maple syrup producers – the real maple syrup rather than the supermarket “table syrup” variety.

As Richard explained, “Dairy farming was the primary use of the 200-acre farm until my great-grandfather Adam, being bored one winter and looking for something to do, boiled up a few buckets of maple syrup from the abundance of sugar maple trees on our property just for fun, and the rest is history.”

The couple have owned the property since 2019, turning the farm into a full-scale maple syrup manufacturer.  Since making maple syrup is very energy intensive, they are always looking for environmentally friendly ways of producing and manufacturing their product.

“Wood fires are used to cook the syrup, cardboard boxes are reused and we are heavy on composting all of the refuse left over from the maple syrup and by-product production back into the soil,” said Richard.

White Meadows Farms has become something of a tourist and education destination these days, including educational guided tours, lunch in the sugar bush and a stroll through the Maple Sweet Shop, where a number of handmade gourmet maple products are available for sale.

Amanda noted, “Over the past decade, we have noticed our farm becoming more and more a ‘one-day destination’ for travellers outside the region.  People from Windsor and other parts of Ontario come to our farm to experience the unique character, quality, history and craft behind Canada’s sweetest natural treasure – 100 per cent pure maple syrup.”

Perhaps there’s something new to put on their promotional material: “Home of Canada’s Southernmost Real Maple Syrup Farm.”

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