Originally published by Watershed Magazine.
Words by Signe Langford. Photos by Tara McMullen
Just outside of Picton, the season at Honey Wagon Farms begins in February when the days start to warm, the nights are still cold, and the sap begins to run. Ed and Sandi Taylor came to the County in 1993, with a dream of farming without the use of pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides, and to produce maple syrup the old fashioned way.
Their first syrup production came in 1995, with just 50 trees tapped, but after expanding into a nearby sugar bush, the “retired” couple now tap 550 trees – and still with no lines, just spigots and buckets – then they reduce the sap into syrup in an evaporator over an open fire, finally filtering it through natural felt, powered only by gravity. That’s as old fashioned and natural as possible.
That same slow food ethos extends to their market gardens, and although you won’t find Sandi and Ed’s syrup on the all-Italian menu, Enid Grace is a fan of what they grow. “Ed and Sandi are masters at several things and I know their fields very well. I always stock up on the Delicata squash and beets. Oh, and they grow the best kale too – Tuscan kale specifically – and sweet, red, Italian Tropea onions.”
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