For the fourth date of Christmas, my true love gave to me, maple syrup, maple sugar, maple cream and maple bacon.
A trip to Sugar Moon was part of the very first Christmas gift Drew ever gave me. We had been dating just a little over a month that first Christmas. Trips to Sugar Moon had become something of a family holiday tradition for his family. So for this date of Christmas we invited his mother to join us.
Drew’s love of Sugar Moon came from his family. On the way there, his mother recounted their first family trip to the farm, and how Drew and his brother complained the whole way that a 45 minute drive was too far for breakfast. But after dining fireside on pancakes and sausages at the charming maple sugar farm in Earltown, they never complained about trips to Sugar Moon again. In fact, it became a favourite. A favourite that eventually was passed along to me.
We walk into Sugar Moon around 10 am. We’re just in time to get our pick of the choicest table in front of the fireplace before the lodge quickly fills up. The cabin is furnished with about a half dozen long, polished light wooden picnic-style tables lit by firelight and morning sun pouring in from the windows that line the front of the building. The space is decked in its seasonal finery – green boughs line each table accented with pinecones and birch bark and red berries.
I already know what I’m getting – the classic Sugar Moon breakfast with all you can eat gluten-free pancakes, thick smoked bacon, and maple baked beans. Drew and I also indulge in a “Sugar Moon Coffee” – organic fair trade Just Us dark roast topped with a thick, rich, generous topping of maple whipped cream and dusted with maple sugar.
Within a few minutes of arriving, Sugar Moon is already starting to fill up with families and friends and tourists. I browse through the maple inspired gifts at the front while we wait for our meals. There is maple syrup and maple cream, maple shaving soap and maple butter and maple sugar and maple fudge, and even some copies of Curious George Makes Maple Syrup.
I love the carvings, artifacts, and images that fill the lodge. The carvings illustrate the traditional sugaring process, and there is a beautiful rainbow of maple syrups displayed in one window, showing the difference in syrup from early to late season.
I head back to my table, and back to the cozy fireplace. When the food arrives we take pictures to send to friends (near and far) a reminder of good times gone by at Sugar Moon (okay – and maybe a little bit just to brag about our breakfast treat).
For just a few months a year sap from the trees will flow down from the farm and be lovingly transformed into maple. That’s when Sugar Moon will be the busiest, as families, friends, and lovers rush to experience sugaring season in the spring. But the lodge is a fun and truly unique Nova Scotia experience year round, and particularly lovely this time of year. It’s become one of my favourite holiday traditions in Nova Scotia, and is well worth the trek to Earltown to experience maple brunch.
Sugar Moon also organize chef nights a few times a year, where talented local chefs take over the kitchen at the farm and host maple-inspired multi-course meals made with locally sourced ingredients.
If you visit, leave some extra time to hike the on-site trail (that leads to a waterfall), and to explore the many unique shops that are popping up in the area. Next door, you’ll find Jonathan Otter, a woodworker who makes hand carved furniture designed to withstand the test of time, and just down the street you’ll find the Earltown Generalstore, where you can shop for food and handmade goodies by the wood stove. Click on the thumbnail photos below for a peek!
Sugar Moon maple syrup is one of more than 260 Nova Scotia gift ideas you’ll find on our 2014 Local Wishlist. check it out: www.localwishlist.ca
Sugar Moon Farm
221 Alex MacDonald Road
Earltown, Nova Scotia
Season: Open year-round. Hours vary by season so please phone ahead – (902) 657 -3348
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