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Vermont Sweet Maple Kindling - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermont Sweet Maple Kindling

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MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -

Vermonters know about fires -- and they know about keeping warm.

At least that's what Paul Ralston is counting on with his new kindling company Vermont Sweet Maple.

After countless years of experimenting with different lengths and widths of kindling, Ralston found the perfect piece and knew he was on to something. He now sells boxes of maple kindling that cost around $10 and he says will start 15 to 20 fires.

"It's clean there's no bark no bugs no mold. its hypoallergenic fire wood," says Ralston.

Ralston says it's modern firewood, leaving little or no creosote in your chimney.

"That's been cut quartered and kiln dried to 6 percent," Ralston says. "It means its super dry. So it's hard maple that's been super-dried. It's about as dried as the furniture in your house."

Ralston says the type of wood you use to start a fire does matter, since it's the base of the fire.

"Hard wood kindling that's very dry lights very quickly but leaves strong long-lasting coals and that's what you need to light a good fire," he says.

Pieces of dry wood that burn quickly and efficiently. And there are some tricks to finding a good one.

"It's 10-inch long this is the size that allows you to make teepees or logcabins and get a good start on your fire," he says.

This Middlebury company started just over five months ago and is already selling to major chain grocery stores and gas stations. Its target market is the Northeast.

"It's really to take a Vermont natural resource and add more value to it, create better jobs and create better return for forest land owners and forest products workers," he says.

By next winter Vermont Sweet Maple will also be selling fire kits, charcoal and wood for commercial pizza ovens.

A growing business that's all made in Vermont.

Some exciting news for Sweet Maple Kindling. Otter Creek will be making a Vermont Imperial Ale which will be aged over the kindling.

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