Farrell’s Finest Maple syrup is made on a fourth generation maple farm with wood fire and hard work.
The Farrell’s Farm has been in the family for over 100 years; passed down four generations from father to son and managed with skill and care. Originally purchased in the early 1920's by Mac Farrell, maple production on the farm was intended to supplement the family's food supply while living off of the farm. Back then maple syrup was harvested in simple tin sap cans, collected with a horse drawn sleigh and boiled in a small evaporator.
After Mac Farrell's death, the property was passed on to his son Bert and wife Margaret Farrell. After their death, their son Howard and his wife Judy took ownership of the farm. In the 1970s the original sugar shack burned down, and all equipment was lost in the fire. But this setback spurred efforts to re-develop and improve maple syrup production on the property.
Howard Farrell moved a small old shed from his home on the Narrow's Lock Road to the sugar bush and built a lean-to on the side to give more room. The ceiling wasn’t very high - you had to duck when walking inside - but there was lots of seating for visitors, children and family.
In the 1980's, Howard retrofitted an old furnace oil tank to make an evaporator, using an old wash tub and small finishing pan for the syrup. At this time he had a couple hundred taps which dripped into cans and were collected into a gathering tank pulled by a tractor drawn wagon.
Eventually, Howard and his friend Jimmy Cordick built a wood shed to keep the slabs dry, which was three times bigger than the sugar shack itself.
In the mid-90's Howard bought a small evaporator from Sam Kelford, a local welder, which was much bigger than the old oil tank and a vast improvement for the operations.
By 2008, Howard and his two sons Adam and Nathan had begun cutting white pine trees on their property with the intent of building a new sugar shack. Alan Hughes brought his portable saw mill to the farm and the logs were milled into lumber to build the new sugar shack.
In 2010 the plans were drawn up and the new shack was built, followed closely by the delivery of a brand new Lapierre Force 5 wood fired evaporator. The new evaporator was energy efficient and would process sap more than 4 times faster than the original evaporator.
Over the past decade, the Farrell Family continued to upgrade its maple syrup production system; placing the entire sap collection on vacuum, introducing a reverse osmosis machine into the mix and installing new sap transfer lines.
In 2022, after the passing of Howard, his wife Judy and sons Nathan and Adam continued to carry on the maple syrup tradition on the farm.