It has been 37 years since Terry and Vickie Gervais began making maple syrup in North Tyendinaga Township at the old Daley farm, on land originally purchased from the Mohawks of Quinte Bay by Bartholomew Candon. Over the years, we have uncovered archaealogical evidence of maple syrup production in this forest dating back at least over a hundred years.
Beginning with 150 buckets in 1979, the Gervais sugarbush has now grown to over 9000 taps (with only a dozen buckets left!). At that rate of increase, chances are there will be more taps added next year! Just this year, we enlarged our sugar shack to accommodate a new design of tanks and lines, and a new seating area (complete with a maple tree INSIDE the shack!) to host the many visitors and friends who join us every spring.
Over the years, Terry and Vickie have consulted and learned from other maple syrup producers across Ontario and Quebec. Not too long ago the switch was made to the narrower 5/16th tap. All lines are connected to a vacuum and sap is passed through a reverse osmosis machine to reduce the boil time. All maple syrup is produced using wood fired evaporators.
The name Trillium Ridge reflects that we are Ontario maple syrup producers. Located on a limestone ridge, our syrup is award-winning (Royal Agricultural Winter Fair) and is often praised for its almost buttery texture, or just because it is sooo good! ‘Mah Kwan Kadeek’ is a Malecite phrase meaning ‘the place where maple sugar is made’, honouring both the indigenous knowledge inherent in this traditional harvest and also Vickie’s family and ancestry from the St John River area of New Brunswick (Wolastoq).
The farm is also home to a small herd of grass-fed cows and solar panel generation. We are always prepared (between the end of February to early April) to host visitors and tourists, including tours and full pancake breakfast. Give us a call ahead of time and we’ll have breakfast ready!