While the pandemic has caused a plethora of challenges for sugar shacks in the Eastern Townships, the region’s maple syrup producers are more worried about the weather.
According to Bob Gingras, his small, family-run sugar shack in Sainte-Catherine-de-Hatley, Érablière Gingras, could begin producing maple syrup, warmer weather permitting, as early as next week. He doesn’t want to go through a repeat of last year’s sugaring season.
“This year we’re praying we have a normal season, a really good season, to recuperate all of our losses from last year. Last year, practically every producer experienced half a sugaring season,” said Gingras, adding he hopes families will have an appetite for sugar shacks.
He told The Record that by mid-March last year, the weather shot up to around 20 degrees, which is too hot for maple syrup production. Gingras said it needs to be anywhere between -5 and 8 degrees in order for sugar shacks to reach their full operational potential.