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Miles of roadside, no vacuum system, no tubing, and no woodlot = maple syrup? Exactly! For 35 years, Jack and Jill Brown have made syrup this way with the help of their family. They originally began working with another syrup producer, Jack said. Then, 14 years ago, they broke away from the cooperative. “The quality’s better; we have more control.” They now produce only their own maple products: syrup, candy, sugar, nuts, and granola.
With his wife and two daughters, Jack described that this is an “on the side” job. The operation has 3300 taps and boils in a 4 x 14 pan over a diesel-fueled fire. In his area, he stated that their syrup-producing venture is one of a kind. “We have miles and miles of roadside we cover,” he stated, “There are three different routes; and on a good day, we can collect 5,000 gallons of sap.” Jack added that the average tree they tap is over 100 years old.