Maple syrup was first produced on Richard’s property at RR#1 Chesterville by James McMillan around 1900. Production continued by his son, John, as well as his grandsons Glenn, Grant and Earle until the late 1940’s. At that time, with the end of sugar rationing, John and the family found that it was no longer financially viable to continue.
It was later in the mid 1970’s Earle started making syrup as a hobby on the McMillan property but in a different bush. After Earle passed in 1986, Richard took over and continued to produce.
Numerous upgrades have been made over the years. The McM Family Farm now collects sap using a tubing system, vacuum and pumps. They concentrate the sap using reverse osmosis and boil the concentrate on a fan forced, wood fired evaporator. Nearly all of their syrup is sold and enjoyed locally.
The family involvement is continuing as Richard’s son William (Bill) and his grandsons Jacob and Tristan are involved in this favourite family springtime tradition.
You have to check out their Facebook page at: McM Family Farm, where you will find everything from awesome maple recipes and pictures of the sugar bush throughout the season. Richard has overseen production at the sugar bush and camp over the course of the last 40 years! Their operation is located nearly 1 km from his house and the road, but rest assured, they do have an access via an all weather laneway. The operation is managed by Richard and his son, but many other extended members of the family including his sister and a few of the cousins always come out to lend a hand during the busy maple season, as is the true tradition of the Ontario family maple sugar bush experience. Together they manage approximately 2200 taps, all on vacuum.
The maple bush on The McM Family Farm consists of a good mix – 60% soft maple and 40% sugar maple which provides that beautiful and splendid flavour to their product. Richard prefers to sell all his production as pure maple syrup, no product transformation here, as he prefers to sell that magnificent syrup in all its original splendor! Although there are not any planned and advertised official public activities given the location of both the sugar bush and the sugar house, Richard and his crew welcome any customers wanting to stop by and visit during syrup season and, of course, they never leave without at least one bottle of this pure Sweet Ontario Maple Syrup. And, in Keeping it Sweet! – The McM Family Farm now has started keeping honeybees and now sell a limited amount of honey, along with their Pure Ontario Maple syrup.
We were also featured in the Ontario Maple Syrup Producer's website in the 4th quarter of 2020. Check out the article here.