•  Snipped sap lines at Erich Ruger's sugarhouse in Malta, N.Y. A nasty neighbor allegedly snipped the lines, Ruger said.

  •  Sugarmaker Sam Josovitz of Shelton, Conn. hangs a sap bucket in his backyard with his kids. A neighbor has threatened legal action to try and shut down his 30-tap operation.

  •  A sap line snipped by a nasty neighbor in Malta, N.Y., according to sugarmaker Erich Ruger. The vandal was caught in the act and the police were called, but no charges filed.

Sugarmakers confronted by testy neighbors

Snipping lines and calling the FD on sugarmakers

By PETER GREGG | MAY 9, 2022

MALTA, N.Y.—Two sugarmakers were dealing with testy neighbors this season, who apparently don’t love maple.

Sugarmaker Erich Ruger of Sugar Oak Farms in Malta, N.Y. told The Maple News a neighbor snipped his sap lines.

“Caught some lady cutting my sap lines around the corner who said I was ‘polluting the planet,’” Ruger said. “Sheriff had a nice long talk with her. Luckily I got there when I did or I would have missed her.”

Ruger said no charges were filed.

In Connecticut, a backyard sugarmaker has received backlash from his neighbor, who is threatening to sue.

Sam Josovitz of Shelton, Conn. who boils on a cinder block set-up in his backyard with his family said a neighbor has been confrontational about his sugaring.

“Starting last year when her and her husband walked up to my site started videotaping me while I was collecting sap,” Josovitz told The Maple News.  “She calls this ‘farming to extreme.’”

He says the not-so-nice neighbor has been calling the fire department on his operation every time he boils. 

This year he said he received a threatening letter from an attorney representing the neighbor, demanding Josovitz to cease and desist.

“I’ve checked with the state and reached out to Connecticut Farm Bureau and they say it’s totally legal to do what I’m doing,” Josovitz said.