Our families have been making syrup in Cabot and Marshfield, Vermont for over two hundred years. A passage by Hannah Davis Pitkin in Abby Hemenway's Gazetteer of Washington County, Vermont almost exactly describes the scenes above:
"For making of maple sugar, the first five-pail kettle owned in town, Caleb Pitkin brought from Montpelier on his back, and sap-troughs had to be made, and the sugarhouse was two huge logs with the kettle hung between, the smoke and ashes inclined to blow towards you; the sap had to be gathered by hand, and where was it to be stored? James Pitkin told the writer, he could remember how his father provided for this emergency. In June, he peeled birch bark, soaked it, and sewed it with a strong wax-end, and thus made a large box, less the bottom, but he sat this on a smooth piece of bark, with a sap-trough under to catch the molasses, and he recollects many times eating biscuit and butter very near that sap trough."
Vermont Maple Syrup was formerly graded as Fancy Grade, Grade A, and Grade B. Then for about twenty years it was graded as Grade A Light Amber, Grade A Medium Amber, and Grade A Dark Amber. In 2015, the names of the grades were changed again to Grade A Golden Delicate, Grade A Amber Rich, and Grade A Dark Robust.
On the farm, we still call them Fancy, A, and B
We ship syrup in USPS flat-rate boxes for $18.00 (or less) per box anywhere in the continental US. Each box will hold one gallon or more in various combinations of sizes. To order, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our methods today are somewhat different. We use a pickup truck to haul sap to the sugarhouse, and we have replaced all of our galvanized sap buckets with plastic tubing. This is partly due to an aging work force, but there is also concern among bulk syrup buyers about the use of galvanized metal in the sap collection process. For several years now, we have been using reverse osmosis to remove some of the water from the sap before we boil it. We find this does not affect the taste of the syrup, but saves a good deal of time and fuelwood. Our sugaring operation is considered small by industry standards. We tap only about 2000 trees and we like it that way.
Visit the Vermont Maple Sugarmakers Association for much more information about sugaring