Evaporating our maple syrup over a wood fire is not the easiest way to concentrate sap... but we feel strongly that it’s the best. It is the traditional manner which has been used for hundreds of years, as well as being sustainable and carbon neutral. It also forces us to spend more time in our woods, culling blow-downs and damaged trees, maintaining our trails, and observing the health and beauty of our sugarbush throughout the year. We love working in the forest while creating the biomass fuel necessary to produce our syrup, and the fact that it is good for the environment is just syrup on the pancakes.
Our 4kW solar panels power the RO (Reverse Osmosis machine), water jacketed canner, filter press, lights, and iPhone chargers and cover most of what we use in the house. Even if we did not have our own solar panels, our electricity would still be low carbon, as 90% of the electricity in the state of Vermont comes from renewable sources.
Our sugarbush is habitat for deer, black bear, marmots, the occasional moose, and many smaller mammals. Barred owls, northern saw-whet owls, pileated and downy woodpeckers, wild turkeys, and many songbirds are common in our woods.
No Pesticides, No FertilizersOur sugarbush is a diverse forest. It is majority sugar maple, but also has pine, birch, oak, hickory, ash and other species. Soon after the snow melts at the end of the sugaring season, tens of thousands of ramps start greening the forest floor. There are wildflowers, mushrooms, mosses throughout the sugarbush. It is a natural forest. Some of our trees are more than 300 years old.
It would be absurd for us to try to make it better with chemicals. Nature was managing the forest fine without us long before Vermont was founded in 1791.