Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sugaring Off

While it won't be held in an authentic Québecois cabane à sucre, I'm still excited: Not Far From The Tree is planning a sugaring off party right here in the city this weekend!

I hope somebody brings maple taffy!

Unfamiliar with NFFTT? It's a non-profit organization dedicated to harvesting fruit from trees growing in Toronto's front and back yards. When homeowners lack the time, tools, and/or physical ability to harvest their own fruit (which often amounts to way more than the homeowners could consume on their own), NFFTT shows up with a bunch of volunteers and gets to work. The bounty is split three ways: one third to the homeowners, one third to the volunteers, and the remaining third to local food banks and community kitchens. It's win-win-win! Last year, NFFTT picked nearly 20,000 lbs of cherries, mulberries, plums, apples, pears, grapes, elderberries, ginkgo, and quince!

In the late winter, NFFTT gets busy tapping maple trees. This is where their lovely "I'd tap that" t-shirt slogan comes from, which makes me chuckle every time I think about it. Homeowners can buy kits to help them make maple syrup from their own trees. Care is taken to avoid tapping the same tree two years in a row; this allows maple trees a full year to recover and heal their wounds - think of it like humans donating blood!

To celebrate the sap harvest, NFFTT is hosting their first ever sugaring off party! In addition to live music and activities for the whole family, there will of course be pancakes and an urban vs. rural maple syrup tasting!

Date: Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Time: 1:00 - 4:00 pm

Location: Dufferin Grove Park (875 Dufferin St)

Mmm... can't wait. For more details, check out the event listing.

Photo credit.


  1. Wow - this sounds like a GREAT organization. I wish I was in Toronto with a maple tree of my own! I love reading about all the amazing organizations in Toronto doing such amazing things.

  2. What a great organization! I'm pretty sure California doesn't produce maple syrup, but we have tons of ornamental citrus trees whose fruit goes to waste. I'll have to see if there's something like NFFTT near me.

  3. Sabrina: yes, NFFTT is awesome, and I can't believe it took me this long to get around to writing about them! When you move back up here, you'll know how to call when your fruit trees start producing. :)

  4. Jennifer: you're right, maple products are something we can't import from you guys, unlike lots of our other food! The NFFTT concept is pretty new, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist quite like this in other cities. So if you know anyone who wants to get started on a new project, tell them about NFFTT and see if they can set up something like it where you live. That's what I'd do if I didn't live in Toronto!

  5. Another reason Toronto is such a great city! We do have maple trees in the area but I don't think there is an organization like NFFTT. I checked out their site and I love how you can register your tree. Hope the event was a huge success!

  6. Lori, the maple syrup party was great. A little muddy, I'll admit, but the pancakes more than made up for it! We even got to taste maple sap - it has a really subtle flavour. There were also samples of partially processed sap; it tasted very much like maple, but not sweet, and not thick enough. I've never experienced an educational event that tasted so great!!!