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Get to know Olde Carriage Sugarwoods

Olde Carriage Sugarwoods is a small family-owned business located in the beautiful town of Charlotte, Vermont. When we first purchased this property in 1995, the abundance of sugar maples dotting our property was purely serendipitous, because at this stage of the game, sap was not yet running in our veins. We were enamored of the beautiful beaver pond and its history as the town ice pond in the days when an icebox was just that. We love the Olde Carriage Road, the stories of its former use, and the various stonewalls outlining the property sealed the deal. A home would be nice here.

Sap Buckets on TreesHowever, a few short months after moving in and with the onset of our first spring, a curiosity relative to this 'sugaring thing' was born. Thus started our first foray into the world of the sugar maple. With just 13 taps, a few cinder blocks, and a coffee can punched with multiple holes, we proudly produced one gallon of that addictive amber nectar. Olde Carriage Sugarwoods was in its infancy.

By 1998, our first sugarhouse was constructed. We outfitted it with a 2' x 6' evaporator, and our bucket number increased to 85. We thought we had arrived. The winter of '98 then brought the ice storm none of us will soon forget. The damage to our woods was extensive, and the maintenance created by this unique event continues. Surely that spring carrying buckets was a new and demanding adventure over one sprawling obstacle course.

EvaporatorDespite the challenges, our taps that spring of '99 grew to number 175. We continued at this number through 2000 and increased our production to 35 gallons. As we looked toward the spring of 2001, the desire to grow, maximize use of our many maples, and increase efficiency took hold. Regretfully letting go of the aesthetics of buckets, we took to tubing. What this would mean an increased production naturally, which led to the next conclusion. We needed a bigger evaporator, which meant a bigger sugarhouse.

SugarhouseAfter consideration for the lay of the land, our new sugarhouse was sited, built, and completed in 2001. Three miles of tubing was laced through the woods and taps increased to 665. Production of syrup increased to 171 gallons.

Sugar fever is now an established fact of our household, so it only seems natural that 2004 has brought more miles of tubing to our woods. Taps have increased to number 1400, and while recognizing we are always subject to the whim of nature, we hope to produce about 500 gallons of syrup annually. This means processing 22,000 gallons of sap. This is truly a labor of love.

Currently, we find ourselves exploring the many manifestations of this gift from the sugar maple and we are pleased to offer Vermont Certified Organic maple syrup, cream, sugar and candy. We are happy you chose to visit us today, and we hope you have enjoyed your time here. If you order a product, we hope you enjoy it even more! To be fair, it should be noted that the term 'we' has been loosely used, and in the majority of cases should be interpreted as 'Jim'. Olde Carriage Sugarwoods is a work in progress, and we hope you will visit again, to see what's new.

The Wells Family

Jim Checks the Tubing Jim Gathering the Buckets The Boys Emptying the Buckets Nathaniel Gathering Wood
Jim Firing the Evaporator The Evaporator Stephanie Watches Closely Alexandra Checks the Results

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