These are the good ol’ days!
…Seems like yesterday we decided to take over the family tradition and put on our maple syrup farmer hats; oh how the days and years have passed, our operation went from old to new, our children went from new to old and all the struggles of past have become lessons learned.
When Jaret and I first decided to tackle this kettle of fish we were each in our mid-twenties, one two year old, two full time jobs and two fraternal buns in the oven! Some might think we were nuts, looking back we were; today however we wouldn’t change a thing. Making maple syrup is a fading tradition, many producers are getting “more mature”, and there are very few younger people are saddling into the sport…Truthfully understandable in the time we live in. Late nights, early mornings and hard hits to our vacation time make it all happen. Old mother- nature has a mind all of her own, planning for the spring thaw is not easy; we do our best to have most of our prep work completed by March 1. Once the downed trees and limbs are cleared, tubing repairs are made, and yearly upgrades are completed we can begin the annual ritual of tapping the trees; about a week long process.
In past, ideal seasons, our first “boil” is the first weekend of March, sitting here in mid-February, looking at the weather predictions that might be un-likely this year…Oh how I look forward to the sunny days ahead, walking the trails checking vacuum in the linesand touring groups through our woods. We have some of our best times connecting with friends of old and new during the late nights in the ol’ sugar shack, boiling, firing, waiting, bottling and cleaning, oh the cleaning!…These truly are the good ol’ days.
Like most other producers we would love a new sugar house; ours was built by my great-grandfather, my grandfather, my dad and uncles…Many upgrades have been done over the years including our new lead free evaporator, the installation of food grade components and some comfort features including a heating unit; but as we curse the crooked floor and make repairs to the structure we can’t help but look at these old walls and smile knowing that we’re truly continuing a Canadian, and more-so a truly Greenlaw tradition.
Please take the time to visit our sugar house this spring, we will do our best to explain our craft, welcome you to walk our trails and gladly offer you to sample our maple syrup.