Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sugaring Time Simply the Best Children's Book on the Subject

Sugaring Time
by Kathryn Lasky
Photographs by Christopher Knight

In New England, there is a time between winter and spring when the combination of freezing nights and warm days starts sap flowing in the maple trees. This is sugaring time, when families like the Laceys of central Vermont engage in that still-flourishing American tradition, the gathering of maple sap for boiling into delectable maple syrup.

This is simply one of the best books out on sugarmaking. It's photos are simple and beautiful, and it's text is elegant and direct. A wonderful picturesque homage to the sugarmaking experience complete with knee deep snow and handsome ponies.
Reading Level: Ages 9-12Hardcover: 64 PagesPaperback: 64 Pages
Newberry Honor Book
ALA Notable
New York Times 13 Best Children's Books 1983

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Ralph Cooley Sr. made syrup on the side of the road on Route 66 in Ghent from the 1930s all the way to the 1990s. He was such a redoubtable figure the newspaper The Independent did a full page feature story on him in the early 1990s. It showed his lines connected to his sugarbush and it showed the elderly but sturdy renowned dairy farmer and cattle breeder standing over a boiling steaming vat of sap, watching the clear liquid simmer down to maple syrup. Back in those days it was not uncommon for schools to take class trips to Mr. Cooley's sugarshack so he could explain the magic of sugarmaking.

I have long wanted a winery. But I didn't know anything about syrup. But the more history I learned about Mr. Cooley and the former Brisklea Farms the more I got in touch with my sugarmaking side. I started to get into syrups, spured on by my Vermont brother-in-law Robin Hoover, who converted me to dark Grade B syrups some years ago.

I contacted some local sugarmakers through the good folks at Cornell. Dominique and I found seveal local folks. They helped us with securing local syrup and the instructions necessary to bottle. And we worked with Beth's Farm Kitchen to bottle, since they have so much experience canning and bottling, and they have a professional kitchen. Ralph Cooley's grandson, also named Ralph, and our Farm Manager, also helped out.

Today, we offer free tastings of our three grades of syrups - Grade A Amber, Grabe B Dark Rustic, and our own invention, Dirty Syrup. All three are 100% natural and we offer them just like a wine tasting. Visitors taste the thick nectars light to dark in tasting glasses. Come in and see what all the fuss is about.


Come on in!!!!