Our Story & Process
Since 2014 we have been developing our sugarbush with the goal of producing sustainably harvested maple syrup at a scale that is right for both the ecology and economy in which we exist. We do our best to provide syrup as cost effectively as possible in order to give our customers the opportunity restock their shelves frugally, or retail the syrup for profit.
We harvest our sap on site and process it with a wood fired evaporator fueled by wood generated from improvement cutting of our bush. We spent our first two years tapping our own trees, but trading the sap to our neighbors for processing in exchange for a percentage of the crop. Although this was not our end goal for a production technique, it allowed us to focus on growing slowly and steadily into something we could be proud of.
After learning that our processor was selling his bush, we spent the summer, fall, and winter of 2016 and 2017 rushing to build our own sugar shack in time for the season. It took many people many long weeks in brutally cold and wet conditions, but we built, wired, plumbed, and set up our sugar shack in time for the 2017 season, in addition to adding taps to our bush. Though the season was certainly a trial by fire, we met many of our goals (with only a few still exceeding our grasp).
Since then we have worked on engineering our bottling line and expanding our supply chain to make sure that we can get our syrup into the hands of those who want to enjoy it. We are still looking to expand our market, and are actively seeking distributors, retailers, and partners to help us get our syrup on more plates.
Maple Syrup is a traditional, simple, natural food that has been enjoyed in many shapes and forms for millennia. Red squirrels have been known to nibble twigs in spring, allowing the sap to run down the bark of the tree. The sun would dry the sap into a thin streak of syrup that squirrels will later return to lick and enjoy.
The Native Americans indigenous to north eastern North America also discovered the spring run of sweet maple sap, and developed methods to harness and condense it. Using birch bark buckets, they would gather sap, and then heat stones in a fire to be placed in the buckets, evaporating the sap into a thick, rich syrup. A sample of Abenaki legend is available at the following link:
When the colonists arrived, they learned from the Native peoples about this seasonal source of sugar early in spring. The coopers crafted wooden buckets to collect the sap, and the tin smiths bent and soldered tin pans to boil the sap into syrup. Wood fires were burnt under the pans to generate the heat necessary to boil the syrup. The high heat of the wood fire licking at the pans gave the syrup a robust, caramelized, smokey, “mapley” flavor (ask the old timers around our parts and “mapley” is the adjective they use for the strong flavor of good maple syrup). The lighter colored syrup was called fancy because it could be made into an off-white, mildly flavored table sugar that could be compared to cane sugar, which was at the time a luxury import in northern New England. The two grade A’s were medium amber and dark amber, which were a valuable export for Vermont’s burgeoning rural economy. Then there was the “grade B” syrup, which was anything but B grade. It became the syrup of choice for the majority of Vermonters. With its robust flavor and intimidating color, it was harder to market out of state in a glass bottle compared to the beautiful ambers, and so earned the grade B title, but the intense flavor quickly endeared it to those who had tried them all, and knew good flavor when they tasted it. Then and now B (now known as Dark and Robust) is preferred in complex recipes where a lighter syrup might be overpowered by other ingredients. Please see this link for more information on maple grading, then and now: