When we first arrived on this piece of farmland we now call Shangri-La, we felt motivated and led not by our own volition, but rather by the place itself—which seemed to guide us in its care and growth. With an abundant Sugar Bush (maple trees) and idyllic sugarhouse already on property, we felt we must respond to its loud call to engage in Vermont’s most famous tradition of sugaring. Sugaring—the process of boiling sap from Maple Trees into the syrup we bring to our tables—spans centuries and is shared by many Vermont farmers today.
We have chosen to honor the age-old methods of using buckets for sap collection and boiling over wood-fired arches instead of succumbing to the conveniences of modern tubing, vacuum suction and reverse osmosis. This rewarding approach—if grueling at times—has given us reverence for an earlier time gone by.
As our sugaring operation grows, we know we will be inclined to introduce more modern methods of production, but hope to always remain reverent to those traditions that came before. The fragrant maple steam that rises from the evaporator and fills the sugarhouse now marks for our family the end of the long Winter and the new beginnings of Spring.