Welcome to the first edition of the Business Diaries where I will be sharing what is happening in getting our maple sugaring and home decor business going.
So, this is a little bit of a different topic, but we bought a dump truck.
A dump truck.
Last year we tapped about 800 trees. This year, we will end up around 2.700. Turns out sap from that many trees weighs a whole lot and you need a really big truck to carry it.
At least it is a pretty red color.
Oh, and here I am rocking the latest runway style. When it is cold, you bundle up my friends.
And along with dump trucks comes tanks.
Lots and lots of tanks.
You need tanks where the trees are to gather in, tanks on the truck to get it back here and then tanks to store it here before it becomes beautiful syrup.
This has been our world lately. Dana is up in the woods running all of the lines for these trees. We will actually tap the trees in a week to 10 days – depending on weather. I swear, he is the hardest working man I know. He tromps all day in the deep snow and freezing cold weather – on a steep hill.
And yet, I have never seen him happier.
He said something to me the other day that really struck a cord. Most “sugar makers” are farmers. In fact, Dana grew up making syrup on his family’s dairy farm. It just makes sense that way. In the winter, you have all of your employees who can’t plant or harvest in the fields, so they move into the woods.
But they also have something else going for them. They already own the trucks and the buildings. And the land. Lots and lots of land. In fact, most sugar houses are set in the perfect spot so that all the lines from the trees run right down into the sugar house.
We may not be taking the typical route and it may require a few more tanks. But, we have made the decision to go for this dream. The easy business decision would be for us to sell our house and move and hour or two north. We could buy acres and acres of sugar maples and probably a barn and sugar house to boot.
That may be the easy business decision but not the right decision for our family. This is where we are choosing to live and raise our family and I guess we are farmers, of our own sort.
When tapping time arrives, I too will be hiking through the woods as it will be “all hands on deck”. In some ways I am looking forward to it and in some ways I am terrified.
Until then, I have feverishly been working on finding new products for the shop. I must admit, I am not taking the easy route here either, but more on that later. It is going to take me a little bit more to get it up and going but I hope it will be worth the wait.
Fingers crossed that this storm coming again today isn’t too bad – we have trees to tap!
Thanks so much for reading.