Each year the Eastern Ontario Local of the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association hosts a local maple workshop in November. Once again this year new ideas and speakers where introduced for another successful event. Along with the usual presentations from the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture there were presentations from Jake Moser of New York State and Dr. Abby van den Berg of Proctor Maple Research Center in Vermont. Dr. Abby presented on her research comparing RO processed syrup to the same syrup produced using conventional methods and Jake Moser showed off his small producer production techniques for value added products used only items purchased at Walmart. With 73 producers in attendance the day was considered a success but we also believe there is more room for growth in coming years.
Keeping in stance with the likes of IMSI and the Federation of Quebec the Eastern Local is very much interested in directly marketing maple to the consumer and expanding our local market. New this year we added a silent auction to our Info Day offering rare and unusual maple items with 100% of that funding being re-invested into local maple marketing efforts. If you saw the article in the recent issue of The Maple News about Ontario maple producers marketing at the 2015 International Plowing Match you have an idea of what we are after. With the added revenue gained from the silent auction we will be planning on a presence at the Ottawa Food Show this October. The Ottawa Food Show is a truly urban event catering to affluent urban foodies that might not otherwise know about local maple producers. This is a high class (and high cost) event and one that will challenge both our presentation skills and funding but we are determined to be successful.
Given that Eastern is a little different than other Locals by hosting our Info Day in November it leaves us room for other events while the rest of the province is doing their regularly scheduled tour in January/February. This year we planned a firearms course for the first Saturday in February but due to tremendous demand we quickly added a second course on the following Sunday offering a total of twenty spots to OMSPA members. Both days were sold out so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a rapid reduction in squirrel populations in the Eastern end of the province sometime soon… but just guessing.