I was not born in Vermont. But I consider myself a Vermonter.
I have never produced maple syrup. But I am going to try.
My name is Luke. I was born in upstate New York but have called Vermont my home since I started attending college at Saint Michael’s in 1999. My love for snowboarding — the sport, the culture and the mindset — is what originally brought me to the Green Mountain State. I found the love of my life in Vermont, married her, bought a house, started a business and am now raising two super-cool daughters. They are both native Vermonters. I admit I’m a tad jealous about that last fact.
Why am I venturing to start a backyard maple syrup operation? First there’s the practical reason. Maple syrup moderation is not practiced in my household. My wife and kids eat it every day, in coffee and tea, on waffles and ice cream, as an ingredient in homemade bread. If a food needs sweetening, the syrup jug is beckoned.
But the real reason that I plan to spend so much time and energy on making maple syrup is… is… Actually, I’m not sure. I’ve never done this before. But there’s something alluring about being outside in the late winter sun, tromping through crusty snow, collecting sap. I will build a fire and boil it down. I will stand around in the cold staring at the fire. I’ll probably drink some whiskey. It’s primitive. It doesn’t make any sense economically. But I can’t wait to get started.
Today is the last day of January, 2014. Sugar season is just a few weeks away. As I dive into this silly, soulful adventure, I invite you to follow along with me on this blog as I make pure Vermont maple syrup.