He's walked it a million times; from house to barn, barn to house. Truman Young knows the lay of the land and he should, he's farmed here in Tinmouth all his life.
"It's a little cool," he remarked.
On this icy winter morning, he might need some assistance from his grandchildren, but don't let that fool you. His mind is sharp and his knowledge vast-- especially on the subject of the sweet stuff.
"When the winds in the west, the sap runs the best. When the winds in the east, the sap runs the least." Poetry from a knowledgeable man; he's been sugaring for 81 years.
"Oh boy, you can't imagine the changes I have seen!" Truman said.
A lot has changed in maple syrup production since he was a boy. The idea of plastic tubing and reverse osmosis were as farfetched as going to the moon. It was horses, buckets and difficult work. A lesson he learned the hard way from his dad.
"And I said that's hard work, I hate that job. And he slapped me across the shoulder and he said hard work never hurt anybody."
At 93, he's the oldest maple syrup producer in Rutland County, perhaps in the state. He figures he's made just about 32,000 gallons through his long life.
The next time you are having a maple creemee or sugar on snow at your local fair, you might want to thank Truman. While president of the Rutland County Maple Producers back in the 1960s, he pushed hard to have a sugarhouse at the State Fair. Now he says every fair has one.
The Youngs have farmed on these 400 at least since the Revolutionary War. Now, the next generation is stepping up; Truman's son, Dave.
"I've been in the sugarhouse ever since I could walk," Dave said. "Always helped my father for years."
Truman is passionate about farming and philosophical about life's peaks and valleys.
"I've always thought you've got to take some bad with the good," Truman said. "You can't have it good all your life."
Reporter Joe Carroll: How long are you going to be doing this?
Truman Young: Well, another 10 years.
Joe Carroll: Good for you!
Truman Young: I hope!
Truman hopes to produce 600 gallons this year; far from the biggest producer in the state, but perhaps he has the tastiest syrup.
"Mmm, mmmm! You can't beat it!"
A little boasting from a sweet man.
PO Box 4508