Sugarmaker Profiles


Keeping to their own beat

Peter Gregg | June 2017

It’s been a long-time coming for Mike Benton and Benton’s Sugar Shack.

After five generations of sugaring in the Lakes Region town of Thornton, N.H. the Benton family took their first Carlisle Cup last year, awarded for the best maple syrup in the state, at the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association annual meeting. MORE ]


Masters of maple and mechanics

Peter Gregg | February 2017

Sleep can be a precious commodity for Greg Pittman.

“Sometimes I’ll wake up at two in the morning with the solution to something I need to fix,” Pittman said. He keeps a pad and pen next to the bed.

He’s a tinkerer and has a gift for understanding out how things work just by looking at them. He’s a machine whisperer, so to speak. Same goes for his son and son-in-law, both tinkerers too. Wife Debbie keeps the whole operation humming and organized. MORE ]


The ‘more’ in Wendel’s Maple & More

Kate Ziehm | January 2017

Have you ever been to a 3-ring circus?

In each ring, something different is going on, and you are not quite sure where to look for fear of missing something special.

The day that I visited Wendel’s Maple & More in East Concord, NY, that is sort of how I felt; like a child at a 3-ring circus. In each corner of the farm there was another facet of the Wendel’s business. My entrepreneurial heart was brimming with questions that I couldn’t wait to ask. MORE ]


Hering family has put away its buckets

Peter Gregg | January 2017

Just a few years ago, the Hering family of Waterville, Minn. was notable in the industry for being one of the biggest operations in the U.S. still using buckets. The Hering family has been cooking in Waterville since the late 1800s. Everything is different now. Beginning about three years ago, the Herings began a rapid expansion and upgrade to their operation, most notably dumping the buckets for good. MORE ]


Ocean State sugarmaker enjoys his niche

Peter Gregg | November 2016

The sap was running at Charlie Chase’s farm on Feb. 28. And so was Charlie.

A professed people person, he has not been shy to go in any direction within 20 miles of his farm to just about every residence with a maple tree and ask to tap it.

“I go around and knock on doors and offer them half a pint to tap their maples,” he said. “If I get a quart per tap, I come out way ahead.”


Sorghum season

Peter Gregg | Nov. 3, 2016

It’s late October and John Williamson of Shaftsbury, Vt. will soon be boiling in the sugarhouse. But not maple—sorghum. MORE ]


Another rookie goes big from the get-go

Peter Gregg |

Following a recent trend in the maple industry, another young sugarmaker has decided to go into the business in a big way. MORE ]


750,000 taps to start ...

Peter Gregg |

The nation’s biggest maple operation plans to have 200,000 taps or more in for this season and has already made syrup this month, getting a jump on the season. MORE ]