Maple Roch to tap Summerland trees

Arrangement made to use sap from 60 trees for next year’s syrup

When Maple Roch prepares next year’s maple syrup, some of the sap for the syrup will come from trees in Summerland.

Maple trees grow in much of North America, Europe and eastern Asia, but the varieties used for maple syrup are found predominantly in eastern Canada and the northeastern United States.

However, Roch Fortin, owner of Maple Roch, said he has found a small grove of maple trees in Summerland which may be suitable for maple syrup.

Fortin said using local trees is a way for him to showcase local products.

The grove of around 60 trees are on the northern portion of Windmill Gardens.

“I think they’re in the ideal spot,” said Billy Boerboom owner of Windmill Gardens, adding that the conditions at that part of the property are suitable for the trees.

Boerboom grew the trees from saplings, but has not tapped them for syrup in the past.

Fortin established Maple Roch after moving to Summerland in 2011.

Initially, he sold his syrup from the back of his pickup truck, but last year he opened a retail outlet on Victoria Road North.

Last week, he officially opened a new location at 13224 Victoria Rd. N.

The new location is 232 square metres and provides a retail space for his syrups.

The volume of syrup has increased considerably.

In his first year, he had six barrels of syrup, for a total of 936 litres.

This year, he anticipates at least 100 barrels, or 15,600 litres.

Fortin is also working with other Summerland businesses, in an attempt to showcase local products as much as possible.

He said he would like to see people in Summerland refer each other to a variety of Summerland businesses.

In addition to the retail location, Fortin is also shipping his maple syrup internationally, to markets in Japan, China and South Korea. He is also working with a company in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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