The process of concentrating maple tree sap to a syrup consistency has been going on since the 1500s in North America. Living in rural Vermont, sugaring has been a passion of ours for a very long time. It's a lot of hard work that becomes a frenzy during the two months it can be made. Usually March and April for us. Starting out as a kid with 6 coffee cans to catch the sap in and then boiling it down on a camp stove, I would produce a pint of syrup in an afternoon.
Our current 30 square foot evaporator, burns 36" wood and produces 11 gallons of syrup per hour. We burned approximately 12 cords of wood to produce 1200 gallons of syrup last year. Our raw sap travels through a reverse osmosis unit that removes lots of the water before it enters the evaporator itself. This technology has been a huge benefit to our industry. As sugar makers, we are always striving to make our process more efficient while maintaining the most important part, the flavor. Work smarter. Not harder.
We are a two man team for most of the chores but rely on our family members to help out during the busy season. We are members of the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association and take a lot of pride in the product we sell. My Dad ran the sugaring operation for a number of years while I had a job that didn't allow me the time to make syrup. This was during the .com boom. During that time, there wasn't any running water at the sugarhouse. My Dad left me a note one afternoon that I found before heading to the sugarhouse. It read, "I took up the water.com". We still have the note hanging on the wall in the sugarhouse. He used to claim the more time he spent working in the woods, the smarter he got. He started calling it Smart Mountain. He is no longer with us but he would be very proud to see how far the operation has come since his passing. We had 850 taps back then. This year we plan to have 2000 taps and we will be purchasing sap from another farm that has 1400 taps.
It is our hope that you truly enjoy the fruits of our labor. Lots of labor! It's great therapy that has been keeping us busy during mud season for over 40 years.
On another note: The internet craze started too late for my Dad to understand it. In his memory, you will also be able to find us on the web at: itookupthewater.com