Real Vermont Maple Syrup - straight from the tree!
The experience was one I couldn't have imagined: a tiny, family-run farm of maple trees that has been making pure Vermont maple syrup since 1907. The family was as sweet as maple syrup, offering us our choice of three locations on the premises, each with so much room we felt like we were in a private location. We chose the fenced in area on hard-packed earth so we could see the cows and horses come up to the fence line to graze. Another site was on their gravel driveway, and the site between that our ours was on a beautiful, freshly mowed grassy area with a sitting area and table with umbrella.
The hosts had a table and umbrella in our fenced area, as well as a fire-pit with a stack of wood for burning, just begging us for a s'mores night.
We couldn't wait another moment to get across the street to the little family shop and see what goodies we could purchase. After a short tour of the processing plant, which is a small, wooden structure nestled among maple trees with a pipe leading from the plant to the outside, the sliding barn door was opened to the outdoors. We saw what looked like a regular forest, with a gentle stream along the base of the hill we were standing upon. Rubber hoses ran from tree to tree, with valves that allowed the flow of sap or cut it off from the tree.
Sap flows from the trees (when the clever squirrels aren't gnawing on the tubes) and flows into the pipeline running into the barn. From there, the sap goes through a series of chambers and vats, boiling and purifying, being screened through thick papers, and eventually into bottling, which is done on site. You'll have to watch our video for more details! It really was fascinating to see how something we use on pancakes is from a tiny farm with grandma and grandpa at the helm, and grandkids scrubbing the holding chambers because they are still small enough to fit inside!
We left with a TON of local goodies -- jellies, two different types of maple syrup from the sugarfarm (a lightly colored, thin version, and a medium colored, thicker syrup), a t-shirt that reads "I'd tap that", a couple of coozies, and some maple candies for the kids.
With no food on the premises, we hopped in the truck and went to grab some highly touted local BBQ on the way to our mandatory COVID testing appointment (to gain entry into Maine). We stopped at "The Top of the Grill" and had a view of the valley at the base of the town. It was shaded and lovely, and the BBQ was delicious!
And then it was COVID testing time... which is basically where they take a super long handled toothbrush, stick it in your nose, push it up to your brain, and doing coring experiments for about 15 seconds or until you taste the preserving fluid from the brush in your throat.
We got back to the trailer just in time to see the cows out the kids' back window of the trailer, enjoy a light rain, and go to sleep so we could leave early the next morning for the next leg of the trip.
Want a different type of overnight experience?
Check out the video we made on our YouTube Channel about this place!