Ahnii/Welcome to Giizhigat Maple farm!
Our maple syrup farm is located on beautiful St. Joseph Island, about a 45 minute drive east of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. We are an Indigenous owned and operated business – my husband, Isaac is Ojibway from Serpent River First Nation; I am Mohawk from Six Nations of the Grand River. The name Giizhigat (gee-jaa-gut) in Ojibway translates to Day; Giizhigat is Isaac’s original family name prior to being translated to English by Government agents years ago.
It’s not just about maple at Giizhigat (gee-ja-gut) Maple farm…
We produce and sell maple syrup. We also sell maple butter, maple candies and maple sugar. We are excited to be adding t-shirts, greeting cards and authentic Indigenous crafts to our website soon (www.giizhigatmapleproducts.com). Although business is growing, it’s not all about profits and maple products. The long-term vision is to reinvest profits to build a teaching lodge, a place where all are welcome to learn the Universal Star Lodge Teachings that Isaac has been gifted to carry, a place for all to learn how to reconnect with Mother Earth, and live in harmony through traditional knowledge.
Before purchasing our farm, our focus was conducting traditional sweat lodge and fasting ceremonies, and sharing traditional knowledge. We learn so much from others and it is so rewarding to help others — we grow together in that connection to Mother Earth. Isaac continues to provide teachings and workshops to groups and organizations, but when the sap starts to run, we are busy on our maple syrup farm. Our 3000-tap operation keeps Isaac and I, and our 2 sons busy throughout the year. Yes, that delicious golden treasure requires loads of work year-round! Stay-tuned for future posts of work on the maple farm – repairing lines, cutting wood, caring for our forest (forest management), gardening, collecting medicines, traditional teachings and whatever else Creator sends our way.
Ever wonder why that golden sweetness is so expensive?
It takes 40 gallons of maple sap (sweet water) to make just 1 gallon of maple syrup! That’s a lot of boiling time and wood to get that precious syrup. We are excited to share with you our work in the maple sugar bush – from the first tap to the joy of tasting that first drop of delectable maple syrup.
We conduct ceremony each year before the first sap run and at the close of the maple syrup run. We give thanks for Mother Earth and all the life and bounty she provides to us, her children. Mother Earth is Love. The Gift of Sweet Water — when it is kissed by the spirit of fire (Grandfather Sun)– it brings love & sweetness to our life, our spirit, our being.
There is so much to learn in the world – of maple, of plants, of people, of creation – let’s take this journey together to be the best human beings we can be – love will guide us.