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Thread: Introduce yourselves....

  1. #11
    Foster Guest

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    Hello ,
    I am a veterinarian by trade and have been married for 22 years . My wife and I have four children , ages 13 -19 years . My wifes grandfather tapped the huge sugars of southern Michigan for as long as anyone can remember . My family kept bees commercially.
    We own our Wisconsin sugarbush with a capacity of about 1200 taps . We tap to our help which is usually between 400 - 600 , all on buckets. Trees are rotated so they are not tapped every year . Boiling is done on a 2 1/2 x 8 Dallaire with a Marcland autodraw . We bottle around 70 gallons per year with the aid of a Wesfab filter press . All bottled syrup is given to the friends that help and the unbottled is sold wholesale in fives . Last years production was about 218 gallons on 544 taps . This year with some of the help attending the University we plan on around 400 taps -- we will see. I am willing to help any new area maplers get started . Our syrup shack can be viewed on Jim's ( mapleman3 ) website . Good luck to everyone and have a safe season.

    Race Foster in Oneida county , Wisconsin

  2. #12
    Rich Baxter Guest

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    Hello everybody. I'm 51 years old but relatively new to sugaring. I'm a professional firefighter living in Hartsgrove (Ashtabula Cty) Ohio. I am married and have a 11 yr. old son. We moved to this 10 acre property about 2.5 years ago after I took about 10 years to build the house ops: (which still isn't entirely finished). I started making maple syrup about 4 years ago. I used a stainless chafing pan which fit down into my old gas grill. It will boil off about one gal/hr of sap if its not windy. I usually put out about 12 taps.
    I just purchased a used half pint which I have set up under a 12 ft. overhang for now. I can tap about 30 - 40 reds by the house. I have the potential for another 150 - 160 taps on the other side of a large ravine. Maybe once I get the barn built I can expand to those.
    We do a good sized garden in raised beds and plan to have a few pigs and a small cow or two once the barn is up. I also raise some chickens during the summer in a moveable pen.
    I appreciate all the help that this site has been.

    Rich Baxter

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    leyden,ma,usa
    Posts
    68

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    Rita and I live in Leyden Ma. we have a 10 acre sugarbush, that is SmartWood certified thru the Mass Woodlands Coop. We have two grown boys and 4 grandchildren. I have my own business, Klaus Land Improvements, doing logging. It is mostly timberstand improvement,(thinning) 90%. I do the junkwood thinning that the big logging companies won't do. Rita works at Yankee Candle Co, as a wax prep. So I can be semi retired . We have been involved with sugaring all our lives. I helped a local farmer as I grew up and Rita's family had a dairy farm that did sugaring and blueberrys as extra income. I've known my wife of 27 yrs, since I was 7.
    We curently are tapping 400, on health spouts. Boil on a 2x8 waterloo, raised flue w/ steamhood + preheater. I am curently cutting pine on part of our property to saw out on our bandmill, to build a new sugarhouse. The one we have now is 12'x16'an upgrade from a tarp and flat pan we started with when we built our house in 85. The new sugarhouse is supposed to be 16'x20' w/ 16'x20' woodshed. Will it be big enough?
    Ed K

    400 taps

    2x8 waterloo

    steamhood preheater woodfired

    TSI logger w/low impact equip

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Lebanon, IN
    Posts
    260

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    I’m Doug, as you might have guessed from my screen name. My wife Julie and I live near Lebanon, IN, and have been married 15+ years. We have two boys, Tucker, 10, and Austin, 6. I am a project manager in site development at an engineering firm, Julie teaches preschool. We sugar with some of the greatest friends anyone could ask for, Michael (an electrician) and Lori (a civil engineer), and my dad, Bob (also an electrician), on Michael and Lori’s property near Coatesville, IN. Most of our taps are on the adjacent neighbors’ properties.

    Sugaring has been in my family since at least when my grandfather started as a boy with his father in Vermont on a large operation on their farm.

    We built our first evaporator in 2000 from concrete block and used my Grandpa’s two flat pans. Late in the 2001 season we bought Rig #2, an ancient tin-pan 2.5x10 Grimm wood fired unit. In 2002 we retired Grandpa’s pans except for one we use for finishing. We used Rig #2 and added taps each year until this season, when we bought Rig #3, a gas-fired 2.5x8 D&G raised-flue. Now we are up to 107 taps, with plans to stop expanding (temporarily at least ) at 125. We use plastic bags and make our own bag holders.

    We really enjoy our hobby, and the time we get to spend together with friends and family, especially on our “open house” day we have each year. Michael and I really enjoy tinkering with things and carrying on the backyard sugarmakers tradition of reusing and “repurposing” items for sugaring that weren’t necessarily intended for that use.

    Lori and Julie have enjoyed creating scrapbook pages to preserve our pictures and mementos, and have also collected a few old maple-related items that we have on display on the wall.
    Doug
    Maple Creations, Coatesville, IN
    102 taps on plastic bags
    150 & counting on tubing with 2 FloJet pumps
    "Custom" Kawasaki Mule collecting system
    Wood-fired 30"x8' D&G Model 500 raised-flue w/Steam hood
    Sunrise Metals finisher & Wes Fab 7" pressure filter
    http://www.facebook.com/maplecreations

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Allegheny National Forest
    Posts
    1,449

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    Im Dave Yeany I live in a small town in NW pa at the southern tip of the Allegheny Nat forest. This is my second season surgaring. Last year I had 53 taps and made 12 gal of syurp, on a small flat pan. Don't know what this year will bring. Took up an offer from some guy named Doug for a free 2.5 by 10 arch. when i am not fooling with maple junk as my son calls it I am the head custodian of our local school, been there for 22 yrs.
    I also am a very active trapper. Tapping kinda coflicts w/beaver trapping and still trying to work it out as I enjoy both tremendously. I'm married to my wife Debb for 30 yrs come June. I have a son David 20 a jr in college and a daughter Daryl 17 a sr in high school. Haven"t been able to get the family involed yet but I am workin on it. I appreciate all the in formation available on this forum.

  6. #16
    syrupmaker Guest

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    Hello Rick here, 38 yrs old, been sugaring for around 7 years.Started back when dad and grandpa dabbled in it when i was a kid and fizzled out after grandpa's death in '76. Well, now almost 30 years later it's dad(Rooster),my brother(Roy) and myself. We are boiling on a 3'x8' cinder block arch, poured solid and fire bricked. Custom pans that we had fabbed with some scrap stainless and a bunch of great idea's. We presently use a shack on my brothers, neighbors property, that her dad used 20 years ago. We swap her some syrup, homemade wine and good laughs in the shack for the use of her trees, shack and electric.

    Since finding this site we have added a little to the project each year. Starting with a blower, then vacuum, a steam hood and bubbler. Adding a preheater this year for true TURBO CHARGING as dad calls it. Currently we are tapping 250 trees with dreams of some day hitting 1000 taps on our own property, But that is down the road.

    I am married, 15 yrs, to a lovely gal named Rose Marie that puts up with me and we have 4 terrific kids.Vanessa 13 yrs,Corey 10 yrs, Little Richard (YEEEEOOOWWW i feel good) 4 yrs and Sean pushin 2 yrs.

    For full time work,i do electrical/mechanical repairs on generators and electric/hydraulic manlifts for the Verizon fleet across New York State. Also dabble a bit in the wonderful world of pyrotechnics. Usually doing 10-15 sizeable shows a year.

    When we're not sugarin, or working we try to spend time hunting, fishing, camping and getting together for YA'LL COME weekends. I have had the pleasure of meeting alot of the other traders(maple that is) over the years and hope to meet many more. Have yet to find anyone that sugars not willing to extend a hand and offer a hand or at least there two cents.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Winchester, Ontario
    Posts
    79

    Default up north..

    Hi,

    My name is Mark, i live south of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I've been married for 12 wonderful years, we have 2 year old twins, Katherine and Jacob and my wife is expecting in August. We live in the middle of a maple bush so the trees are all around the house and the shack in only about 75 feet from the garage. It is very convenient for boiling and collecting after work.

    We only have 62 taps right now cause that is all our present setup will handlewithout staying up till 4am. If i can get a bigger rig this year or next i will tap probably 100 to 150 this will be my max till all the 6 inch trees are big enoughto tap.(i will tap near 200 when i retire)
    I am so bloody addicted to this hobby that i have started my own maple supply business, i am a distributer for Stainless16 (on ebay). I just started a few weeks ago so i should have a new 2 by 6 soon.

    I work for the Government of Canada with in the Geological Survey of Canada. I get to go to interesting places like Yellowknife, Iqualuit, Newfounland...

    I love the information and good people of this board..

    Keep up the good work.

    Mark
    Homemade evaporator
    130 taps
    2 by 5 flat pan with divider.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Big Bay, Michigan
    Posts
    353

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    Hello, I'm Jerry. It's been interesting reading everyones intro. In 1978 I bought 40 acres of cutover land in Michigans upper peninsula and built a small cabin. Soon after I bought 30 used sap buckets, lids, taps, and a flat pan. I was conveniently laid off from my job so I made syrup and lived at the cabin to save money. I liked it so much I decided if I ever got back to work I would save $25 from every paycheck to buy maple equipment. I got a job and had to move away and other things happened but I never lost the dream of making syrup. I continued my savings plan along with buying more land. It's been difficult because the access to my land was so poor I couldn't drive to it for years.

    I'm 52 years old, not married, no kids, and 4 years from retirement. I work as a forester and will continue forestry part time after retirement from my fulltime job. It's taken this long to get where I'm at now. I finally got a good road into my land 5 years ago. I built a 16x24 sugarhouse with attached woodshed. I bought a brand new 4x12 waterloo/small evaporator with preheater a couple years ago. Still unused but I beat the steel price increase anyway. I hope to get my land logged so I can get tubing up this year. Then I'll be about ready. I plan on somewhere between 1000-2000 taps.

    I like to hunt deer and grouse, read, and walk with my dog. I've had 3 Newfoundlands. I collect antique tools, mostly related to early logging. Most weekends spring, summer, fall I am at my property working on it. I'm planning a better cabin since I have to live there during sugaring, plus a sauna. Owning land has some headaches but overall, it is a lot of fun.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Windham, Maine
    Posts
    1,128

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    Hello everyone! I'm Mark and my wfe is Gaylene. we have been married for 22 years. We have 2 boys Craig is 20 and Soph. at SUNY Cobleskill, NY studying Ag Engineering. Eric is 17 and a Jr in High School. We have been making syrup here since 1988. Started with a 12x18 sugarhouse plus 10x12 woodshed. Added a 16x24 bottling room to sugarhouse 2003. Added a new King 3x10 evaporator last year. Should be up to 800 taps on Vac this year and 900+ total. We have filter press, 2 filter/bottling tanks and a huge wish list.
    Beside the maple on the farm with my parents we rasie 40 head of registered Charolais beef cattle. We have sold cattle into 11 states. The boys have been showing the cattle for years going to shows in Maine, New York, Maryland, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Minnesota. We also have 3 greenhouses for spring plants that Gaylene runs. Kind of conflicts with the Maple season. We also started breeding miniature horses last year and just finished a new 12 stall barn for them. Our first foals will be due in April.
    Just to keep from getting bored I work full time in my familys building Construction business. I am the 4th generation in construction. In my free time I have been a 4-H leader for 18 years. Just finished 2 terms as president of the Maine Beef Producers. Have served on several Farm Bureau boards. And we are currently active with the Southern Maine Maple producers Association.
    Good luck to all!
    1700 Taps /1600 on Vac. 3x10 King evaporator
    20 head Charolais cattle
    8 head Lowline Angus
    28 Miniature horses
    90 hives honey bees
    JD 4430 tractor

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    East Aurora, NY
    Posts
    69

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    My name is Rick, I’ve been married to my wife Debbie for nine years. We have a 3 year old son, Jacob. We live south of Buffalo, in Western New York State. (Near Syrupmaker & The Maple King). We have 40 acres of property in the family; with two ponds, ATV trails & a primitive 9 hole golf course that may Dad built. (If any of you sugar makers are golfers, come on over this summer!!) I work as an engineering technician for an environmental engineering firm in Buffalo.

    I started making syrup in 1998 with 12 taps & a homemade 2x2 pan. The pan was gas fired from an old furnace burner. The next year I had two 2x2 pans; two homemade gas burners & a makeshift preheater. In 2002 I bit the bullet, I bought a brand new 2x6 Dominion & Grimm dropflue evaporator( The wife wasn’t to thrilled). I installed two venturi natural gas burners on the evaporator and placed 100 taps. We currently have about 130 taps; we are tapped out of sugar maple on my property, so next year we have to ask the neighbors if we can tap their trees.

    So it’s been 7 years since I was bitten by the maple bug!
    No complaints so far!

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