Our sugar place can be found in the rolling hills of Barton VT. It features an old sugar house and covered bridge making it a picturesque scene, especially in the fall. At just 100 acres it is not a big farm, but one that is well managed and cared for. We consider ourselves very fortunate and try to be good stewards of the land. We manage our property not only for syrup production, but for wildlife as well. It is not unusual to see deer or turkeys on any given day. Keeping a balanced ecosystem is always on our minds and it reflects in our logging and management practices.
The Fortin family has been involved in Maple sugaring for four generations, starting with Grandpa Louis in the early 1900’s. The family’s dairy farm had a nice 1,000 tap sugar bush located in Derby line, VT. The syrup provided the family with much needed income to assist in managing the farm and 9 kids!
Grandpa Louis did not enjoy boiling the sap, he preferred to work with his team of horses and gathered the sap, so he left the boiling to the oldest boys, my father Lucien was second oldest, so he did a lot of it. Eventually, one of the other sons, Robert, bought the family farm and continued sugaring for many years. As youngsters, my brother Marcel and myself (Gerald) would often help our uncle gather the sap, as we learned about the whole process. The two of us started tapping our own trees in 1989 and with the help of our families it has grown to what it is today.
The Sugaring Operation
Over the years we have grown our maple operation. Starting in the late 80’s with approx. 50 buckets, to today’s operation of about 8,000 taps all on pipeline (plastic tubing). That may sound like a lot but we are considered a “small” producer by industry standards.
The evaporator is wood fired, so decreasing on our wood consumption was essential. We invested in a (RO) reverse osmosis machine, which removes vast quantities of water, and have cut down our wood consumption by 75%. The RO saved us not only wood, but cut down on boiling time and emissions. Conserving energy and time is always a priority.
We purchased a state of the art syrup filtration system in 2016, to ensure our syrup is as clean as it can be.
In the sugaring world keeping things clean is a constant battle. All our storage tanks are stainless steel, making cleaning easy. Plastic tanks are cheaper, but they have many places where bacteria can hide and are difficult to keep clean. They maybe more expensive but in the long run, stainless tanks are worth the difference.
We are proud members of NOFA (Northeast Organic Farmers Association) and abide by all their syrup production and land management guidelines. This means the syrup we produce is certified “Organic” and is of the highest quality.
All our products, such as candies and cream, are made with 100% pure Organic maple syrup, no additives, our customers deserve nothing less!
We hope you will consider us for all your maple needs.
Thanks for visiting,