“Nature is not a place to visit, it is home.”
– Gary Snyder
This saying strikes very close to the heart for us at Sapsucker. Rural upbringings have left us with a connection and appreciation for the land that runs as deep as the roots of the maple trees that we tap. This connection has created a sense of responsibility, we are committed to stewardship of this land in order to protect its integrity. Which is why our goal is to make Sapsucker the most sustainable packaged water that you can buy.
Our commitment to sustainability makes the week leading up to earth day a reflective one where we try to sit back and consider our goals, our methods and whether or not we are fulfilling our responsibilities as stewards of the land. Here are a few ways that we’re keeping Sapsucker sustainable:
Sapsucker is a product of the natural growth process of maple trees. The water each tree gives us originates as rain and ambient moisture in the air and soil, unlike traditional packaged waters which are produced by pumping from underground aquifers. Excessive pumping of groundwater can have severe impacts on the communities and the environment around the pump site such as deterioration of water quality, reduction of water in streams and lakes and land subsidence. Sapsucker avoids these by using traditional methods to tap the maple trees, taking only as much as mother nature can give us that year. A maple tree can produce sap from maturity to 100 years of age or more without ever disrupting underground water resources (and, as a bonus, it naturally absorbs CO2 the whole time).
Low Impact Packaging
The most visible way in which we have committed to sustainability is on our packaging. We chose Tetra Pak for Sapsucker for a few reasons. One is that the packaging itself has a smaller carbon footprint than the alternatives, and it’s recyclable in many municipalities. Tetra Pak also uses an innovative method of packaging that is aseptic. This method means our product requires less processing to make it ready to sell, allowing us to avoid the use of preservatives. Aseptic packaging also give Sapsucker a longer shelf life which helps us reduce waste from spoiled product. Finally, the shape and weight of the package makes Sapsucker more efficient to ship, our Tetra packaging comes flat on a roll which allows us to fit exponentially more packaging on a truck than if we were using plastic or glass bottles and it much lighter. This contributes to reduced fuel use on its way to your table!
We are also committed to keeping Sapsucker just as nature intended it. This means we keep processing to a minimum, do not add in any preservatives or additives and are organic and non-GMO certified. We depend upon the health of the forests and do not use any fertilizers or pesticides to speed up the growth of the trees. Mother nature knows best and we always try to make sure that we’re listening to her!
We invite you to join us this week in taking stock of the impact that we are all leaving on the environment, and what we can do together in order to minimize that impact. While it’s important to recognize the strides we have made in living sustainably it’s even more important for us to recognize where we can improve. As we like to say here at Sapsucker, keep your spirits high and your carbon footprint low!
Those close to us know that Sapsucker isn’t only a product we created, it’s a lifestyle that we strive to live everyday. After being swept up in the undertow of urban life we’re trying to get back to our rural routes and live a slower, more authentic way of life. We’ve found this much easier to do when we are surrounded by like-minded people, Michael and Nobuyo Stadtlander are experts in the field.
We first met Michael and Nobuyo when we started attending the dinners at their property, Eigensinn Farm, and it was love at first bite. Getting to spend time with family and friends eating delicious food that had been grown from the earth we were standing on is the epitome of our happy place. Like us, they had done the city thing and were looking to slow things down in a rural setting. Eigensinn is a magical place that combines agriculture, cooking, craftmanship and art in to a creative haven that we think everyone should experience once in their lifetime. In case you can’t make the drive out to the farm now you’re lucky enough to be able to experience it at Tiff Bell Lightbox on Wednesday, March 22.
Michael Stadtlander and one of the cooks making dinner at Eigensinn Farm
This Wednesday Tiff Bell Lightbox will be showing a documentary called The Singhampton Project as part of their Food on Film series. The documentary, by director Jonathan Staav, profiles a project by Michael Stadtlander and landscape artist Jean Paul Ganem. These two visionaries teamed up to grow seven different gardens which each grew the components for one course in a seven-course meal. Guests strolled from garden to garden experiencing a change in landscape with each course.
We have always been inspired by the Stadtlanders, they were one of the first people that we came to with Sapsucker (you can even see our very own Nancy in the film, years before the birth of Sapsucker). They’ve been some of our biggest champions which means a lot to us as we’re one of the only consumable products that they support. One of our first events was the Eigensinn wild leek and maple syrup festival, which was kind of like Sapsuckers coming out. We’re so excited to see this documentary, so we can re-visit one of the most magical dinner we’ve ever eaten and truly gain an understanding of the months of work that went in to making it happen.
Join us at TIFF Bell Lightbox this Wednesday to see The Singhampton Project, you can get your tickets here!
We’re in love with spring!!! The birds are chirping, the sun is warm and most importantly its sap season! This time of year is especially busy for us as it is the only time of year that we harvest the delicate sap that is Sapsucker maple water.
A spring harvest of Sap
Early springtime provides us with the perfect temperature for harvesting maple water. Cool spring air means the trees still have stores of energy from winter, while the thawing of the earth provides warmth for the sap to flow. We have a small window to collect Sapsucker. Once buds appear on the trees, our harvest time is over.
This means that every spring we keep a keen eye on the weather, making plans based on forecasts that have been known to change at the tip of a hat. That mainstay of polite small-talk, the weather, becomes our favourite topic of conversation. Is it going to warm up? Is it supposed to stay warm? I heard there was going to be another cold snap!
This year we’re inviting everyone to be weather watchers with us! We’ve installed the weather widget on our blog to keep everyone up-to-date on the meteorological goings-on in Flesherton.
The weather widget got us thinking, wouldn’t it be great if we could invite everyone out to the sugar bush with us to share this season that we hold so dear? We had to make some concessions for practicality but decided the best way to do this would be to set up Sapsucker’s (and as far as we could tell the world’s) first Sapcam!
This web cam is trained on one of the maple trees we’ve tapped on our properties. We know not everyone has had the opportunity to come out to a sugar bush. That was part of our motivation for starting Sapsucker, to share this secret of rural Ontario life with everyone. Now we want to take it one step further and give people a chance to see an Ontario maple tree with the sap flowing in real time.
It only comes out of the tree one drop at a time
It might seem a bit sappy but we’re proud to share our second harvest with you, so check out the Sapcam and join in the fun! Don’t forget to follow us on the Sapsucker maple water Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts to stay up-to-date on everything else we have planned for the spring harvest!
It’s difficult to express how excited we were when House & Home approached us about featuring Sapsucker in the March issue of their magazine. Definitely a pinch-us-are-we-dreaming moment.
2016 is off to a pretty great start!