How we got started...
We started out making syrup at our little 10x10 foot cabin in the woods of Western Maine with no running water or electricity. After reading "Backyard Sugarin" by Rink Mann, we tapped 60 trees and spent many hours boiling sap over a small stainless steel pan fitted tight onto the side of a metal oil barrel.
We instantly fell in love with maple sugaring. We skied from sap bucket to sap bucket around our sugar bush, the 7 acres of trees that surrounded our cabin. You can see in the picture below Manny, the sap hound, beat Nate who is skiing to the next Maple tree!
We dubbed our homemade evaporator the "Dream Steamer" and fanned it with a make-shift cordless drill fan (nick-named Easy Breezy).
Manny, our 3 year old lab-shepard mix, could not have been happier spending weeks tromping around the woods in our favorite place in the world. He would visit each sap bucket eagerly and in the evenings curl up next to the warm fire as we steamed late into the night. We were, perhaps, just as enchanted with maple sugaring, as our loving dog was.
Since that first year in 2011, we haven't stopped sugaring and making delicious organic maple syrup. To make a cheesy sugaring pun, it's been full steam ahead! We've learned from our own mistakes and talked to lots of old-timers steaming away in their own sugar shacks. (If there's one truth out there, anyone who makes maple, loves to talk about it!) We started to produce more maple than we could use or give away, and started dreaming of expansion.
Turning Dreams into Reality...
In 2014 we bought into 57 acres of land on the hill-side surrounding our small cabin. We opened up the land to allow the sugar maple trees some more light.
We milled some of the Eastern Hemlock trees from our own land to build a timber frame sugar house! With a little help from friends and family, and lots of hard work, our vision of a small, responsible maple sugar operation began to unfold right before our eyes!
Here we are in front of the new sugar house and sugar bush! We built our own reverse osmosis machine, and set the lines!
With each season we continue to make lots of delicious organic maple syrup, candy, cream, and sugar! We are so excited to be growing our dream business in our little community of Brownfield.
How we got our name...
We know that in the early spring, when the woods are waking up from winter, and the warm sun shines on your face, and you can still feel the cold through a layer of clothes, we will always love working out amongst our sugar maple trees.
There you will be able to find us tapping trees, tending lines, and steaming with our dog Manny, by our side. He often reminds us to bask in the beautiful simple moments of peace and tranquility that maple sugaring brings to us. We feel forever grateful for the bounty that the natural world brings to us in so many amazing ways. We decided to name our company after our loving "Sap Hound" Manny because of his constant reminder to be in the moment with a special kind of joy and gratitude while we are out working in the woods.
We couldn't be more thrilled to be sharing something that we love so much with all of you! No matter if you are local or from away, we hope to connect with each and every one of you!
Nate, Corrie, Manny and the rest of the Sap Hound Maple family!