Monday, April 6, 2009

Maple Syrup, Marshall McLuhan and McCrea Farms

"Just a spoonful of sugar, or maple syrup, makes the medicine go down."
Ian Poppins

There! I've finally worked a Mary Poppins quote into my everyday life. I can die now. Well, I'm not quite ready...I still need to clip a snippet from The Sound Of Music and it'll be a cold day in Salzburg before I cough one up. Besides, the hills are alive with the sound of maple sap, and I've got 'work' to do.

please excuse the seemingly obvious lack of segue from Mary Poppins to Marshall McLuhan, but here goes...

I'd like to indulge myself in a McLuhanian moment. Marshall famously said "the medium is the message." This quote came from the 1960s (a doobie-us time). I was never quite sure that I got what Marshall was saying..until now. In Mary Poppins terms, the sugar is the medicine. In Ian Poppins terms, the maple syrup is the medicine. Maple syrup has replaced the mud in my head with free-flowing amber insight, as though I've tapped into a deeper level of consciousness.

I can easily segue from maple syrup to McCrea Farms because McCrea Farms happens to know a thing or two about using maple syrup to make people happy. They recently hosted two weekends of maple syrup and pancake breakfasts, combined with tours of their sugarbush. Approximately six-hundred people enjoyed the breakfast and tour. At least one person did it twice (I'm telling you, it's an addiction!). Nothing says springtime more than fresh maple taffy poured over hard-packed snow. I'm not sure that you can call yourself Canadian until you've experienced it. Note: to the defence of the treeless Inuit, I've never slept in an igloo or eaten blubber, and I'm fully aware that we all have our own version of what makes one a true Canadian. To the rest of you yellow-bellied, non-sapsuckers....what are you waiting for??

The pancake breakfast was wonderful and very generous. The McCrea family made everyone feel at home and despite the obvious chore of feeding six-hundred people over two weekends, they did it with smiles and good humour. They were happy to showcase their operation and proud of the eight generations that made/make it a reality. It's pure pleasure to watch people who are proud of their past and their present. The maple tours are finished for this year, but they'll be offered again next spring. In the meantime, check out their web site for more information about life on a working farm, including farm-stay vacations.

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