It's backyard sugaring made easy thanks to one Vermont couple whose Vermont Evaporator is producing syrup while bringing families and communities together.
Barrel stove evaporators have been around for decades.
"A lot of the old guys come up to me and say, 'Oh, this is how I started in the 50's and in the 60's. My first unit looked a lot like that,'" said Kate Whelley McCabe.
Kate and Justin McCabe moved to their house in Montpelier four years ago because of the land. They quickly discovered the land had some marvelous maples. "When we realized that, that's when we decided we were going to try it out," Kate said.
After sugaring with several make shift evaporators, Justin went to work. It's a new take on an old idea. "I've always been a tinkerer," Justin said.
"He spent a year designing The Sapling," Kate said. What makes the Sapling unique is the design of the stainless steal pan.
"So you put your sap in here," Kate explained, "and it snakes around towards the pour off." And a smoke stack on the back -- instead of on top -- to maximize evaporation space.
Just like the maple trees on their property, Justin and Kate made another discovery. "The more we learned about it, the more we realized that this is much bigger than we thought it was," Kate said.
People were willing to buy it. "We had no intention of forming a business," Kate said. But form a business they did, The Vermont Evaporator Company.
"On my own I can make 4-6 evaporators a day. I'm pretty tired by the end of the day, but it's a pretty good days work," Justin said.
So what has nearly 150 customers from Wisconsin to Maine so enthusiastic about the Sapling? "This gets people outside. They get to stand there, huddle around. We tell people we're sugaring on the weekends and they come over and hang out," Justin said.
Reporter Scott Fleishman: It's the new backyard barbeque.
Oh yeah, The Sapling can do that too. "You've got something you can use year around," Justin said.
A tradition that has stood the test of time, now has a custom made product with sweet results.
PO Box 4508