Sweet success at the Royal for Whitney family

WHITNEY – A Whitney family won four prizes in the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (known as the Royal) in Toronto on November 12.

Madeline McRae, age seven, scored the highest marks for her sample in the Canada #1 Medium Category. Not only did she win that category, Madeline also won Grand Champion across the three youth maple syrup categories, light, ultra light and medium. 

Brother Sam, aged five, placed third for his Canada #1 Medium Category.

The McRae family placed fourth in the adult category Canada #1 Medium Category.

The McRae’s have a small family maple syrup operation on Galeairy Lake Road in Whitney. From less than a ten-acre stand they produce almost 300 litres of syrup per year using 220 taps and sap lines.

Both children go to Whitney Public School.

Madeline said she started helping with syrup production when she was two years old.

Both children help in all aspects of production. They pile wood, fix sap lines and so forth.

Madeline says her favourite part of the operation is testing the syrup.

Both she and Sam enjoyed going to Toronto to the Royal. Madeline enjoyed seeing the horses on display there. Sam loved riding on the top level of a GO train.

Parents Beth and Jamie McRae said that producing maple syrup was a fun family activity.

“I think it is a great family activity because we’re all involved and it’s in our backyard so it’s local. The kids are outside the whole time we’re making syrup because they are running around collecting firewood, checking sap lines and buckets. It’s a fun family activity,” Beth said.

Get your November 23, 2016 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.