|Don’t be a sap!
Check out the sugarbush at Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm
|Out in Edwards, to find Stanley’s you’ll likely need a map!
But the trip’s well worth it with Maple Syrup on tap!
You’ll find the farm is exciting, the food it is hearty
It’s a great location for a sweet wedding party
There’s much more to this sugarbush than plenty of sap…
It’s not very often that I get up much before 8 o’clock of a Saturday morning! This week was a little different though since we were headed to a sugarbush some 30 km out of town. It was to be a birthday treat for a 3 year-old so it did not behoove us to be tardy. Although we had been to Stanley’s Farm a few years ago, neither of us recalled exactly how to get there. Leaving the house at 8:25 promptly, we attempted to programme the TomTom to get us there, only to find that it would not recognise the address. For starters, no such place as Edwards was listed. Fortunately, our cell phones (Nokia N8’s), also have built-in GPS and they accepted the address and told us that we would arrive with 1 minute to spare. I had read on the website that Yorks Corners Road is reputed to be one of the worst in Eastern Ontario and can attest to that fact. I would not recommend exceeding the speed limit there unless you wish to attempt wing-less flight.
As we pulled into the parking lot, we were somewhat surprised to find it completely empty! It is most unlike us to be the first ones anywhere… For a few seconds, we thought perhaps we had date, location or time mixed up. Dorothy ventured into the main building and returned with the knowledge that we were indeed the very first visitors of the 2011 season. Within a few more minutes, however, our friends arrived and we set off to explore the grounds.
Your Hosts: We were fortunate to meet and talk with three members of the Stanley family: Earl & Joy, the owners and their young pre-teen daughter who cleared the tables in the dining hall. Earl bemoaned the fact that he had received some negative blog posts about the quality of food served and that he had no way of countering. He explained that all the food was home-made, the pancakes and fritatta being family-favourite recipes. It was obvious that he has a passion for his business and the entire family (including the grandfather who was present) are justifiably proud of their endeavour. The majority of the balance of the staff were obviously students many of whom appeared to have opening day jitters but who were, without exception friendly and helpful. It was apparent that this was good place to find temporary employment during the all-too-short season from end of February through end of April.
The Sleigh Ride: Alexandra, the birthday girl was too excited to even contemplate eating, so we decided to enjoy the sleighride and work up some real hunger. It was a bitterly cold day but once the horses started to get up some steam the weather was all but forgotten. The ride was enhanced by the personable and affable nature of the driver who gave us much background on the family and farm.
Other Attractions: The sleigh ride terminated in the neighbourhood of the barn, so we ventured there only to be accosted by hungry goats who could sniff every morsel of food however well hidden. Again, friendly personnel was on hand both to control the unruly residents and satisfy any curiosities. After the barn, Alexandra headed to the kids’ playground where she had a ball. Finally, we visited the original building which now houses the giftshop. Somehow, we managed to forgo the taffy shack; I am not quite sure why or how?
The Pancake Breakfast: By now, we had managed to work up sufficient hunger to do justice to the breakfast buffet. Earl need not have worried. Even if the pancakes were not top notch, a slathering of butter and a crown of heavenly maple syrup can easily make up for any small deficiency in the batter where it will always be much harder to maintain uniformity and quality-control when dealing with such large quantities. Here is the full menu of items available:
For our parts, the only minor gripes would be lack of orange juice (only apple and cranberry were available) and lack of bacon.
Further Information: Visit Stanley Farms own website
See our full photojournal of the visit
- Positives: All food is home-made (even pancakes are not from mix). Prices include HST. Extremely kid-friendly with pink pigs and golden bears!
- Negatives: A little far to travel! NO bacon or orange juice! Relatively little variety (but it IS a sugarbush!)
- Recommendation: This made for an extremely enjoyable and relatively inexpensive day out in the fresh air. Fun for kids and adults of all ages!
|Food Quality||***||Good Buffet|
|Service||****||Eager Students & Family|
|Overall Rating||****||A fun outing!|
|Frivolous Foodie Facts|
• Canada produces about 85 per cent of the world’s supply of maple syrup. Quebec produces more than 90 per cent of the Canadian market, while Ontario and the Maritimes (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island) each contribute about four per cent.
• During the sugaring season, the average tree yields 35 to 50 litres of sap, which produces one to 1.5 litres of maple syrup. On average, it takes 40 litres of sap to make one litre of syrup.