You might say Simon Bernard has maple syrup in his veins. For more than 30 years, the owner of La p'tite cabane d'la côte, a sugar shack in Mirabel, has harvested the sweet sap of over 3,500 maple trees to produce delicious maple products as well as crispy oreilles de crisse, old-fashioned pea soup, and mountains of fèves au lard, not to mention many evenings of fun.\nBut lately, Quebec’s sweetest tradition has fallen on sour times.\n\n\n\nEditor's Choice: This Montreal Resto's Menu Is So Brutally Honest Harvard Decided To Preserve It Forever\n\n\n\n\nHow has the pandemic affected Quebec's sugar shacks?\nEfforts to stem the coronavirus have thrown things into complete disarray for Quebec’s historic sugar shacks, stoking fears for their survival, and threatening an important cultural tradition."The problem is with our reception halls," said Bernard. "All our events have been cancelled and we haven’t had any business for over a year."\n"It’s really important to encourage sugar shacks across the province this year to give those that are left a chance to survive."\nLots of work goes into making maple syrup (with the tree tapping and all) but Bernard was forced to downsize his workforce from 70 to 10 this season when revenue dried up abruptly at La p'tite cabane d'la côte, he said.\n"We’re not many and we’re working very hard."\nTo survive, he’s joined a collection of almost 70 sugar shacks trying to keep afloat with a new initiative called Ma cabane à la maison.\n\nHow dire is the situation for sugar shacks?\n View this post on Instagram A post shared by La p'tite cabane d'la côte (@ptitecabane)\nThe Ma cabane à la maison initiative is a lifeline, said Bernard.\n"I’m really happy about this arrangement," he said.\n"The orders have been good so far and that’s really important because this is the second year we’ve been closed and we need to make some sales. For all the sugar shacks, if we’re to stay open, it’s really important to support us this year."\nThe start of the pandemic in Quebec coincided with last year’s sugaring-off season, which was very bad for the industry, he said.\nAs a result, the sugar shacks in Quebec that practice agritourism are on the verge of bankruptcy, and 75% of them "could disappear forever," explained Stéphanie Laurin, president of the Association des salles de réception et érablières du Québec (ASEQC), in a news release.\n\nHow does Ma cabane à la maison work?\n View this post on Instagram A post shared by La p'tite cabane d'la côte (@ptitecabane)\nThe concept is simple. Just head online and select a sugar shack to prepare a meal that is boxed up, sent to your address, and deposited at your door.\nYou can also pick up the meal kit straight from the sugar shack, or from participating Metro grocery stores.\nEvery sugar shack has its own menu of reheatable or ready-to-cook dishes featuring particular specialties.\nAt La p'tite cabane d'la côte, the signature dish is mini tourtières.\n"No other cabane makes a meat pie like that," said Bernard, in addition to grands-pères dans le sirop, a pot of taffy, and other treats.\nAnd if you’re not down for a pork-heavy meal there are vegetarian, vegan, pork-free, and gluten-free offerings available.\n\nCan Quebecers still get the sugar shack experience?\n\nLors de l'achat d'une boîte repas en ramassage à la cabane, vous avez automatiquement accès à notre site...Posted by La p'tite cabane d'la côte on Wednesday, February 24, 2021\nEach box comes with a special link to an "old-time jamboree" featuring Daniel Boucher, 2Frères, Yves Lambert, and Guylaine Tanguay to turn your evening into a digital hoedown.\nAnd, though his reception hall is closed to diners, visitors can still take part in a number of traditional activities at the cabane, said Bernard, including horse-drawn sleigh rides March 2, 4, 6 and 7, a skating rink, hiking, bonfires, a petting zoo, and the all-important tire d'erable.\n"We’re trying to offer people the complete service as it was before COVID," he said. "Come see us. We’re here. It’s worth the trip."\n\n\nBefore you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your trip.