three generations the Patterson family has been producing
Maple Syrup, it was almost 100 years ago that Grandpa
Patterson first tapped his trees. The tradition was
carried on by Father Patterson in much the same fashion,
as did his father. They produced enough syrup for
their own use and for trading for necessities.
At the time Grandpa was sugaring, there were
no tractors or trucks, all the gathering was done with a
team of horses and lots of labor. Wooden spiles
were whittled from Sumac or another wood with a pithy
center. Holes were bored into the tree with a bit
and brace and the spiles were driven into the hole.
Wooden buckets were set under or hung from the spile to
catch the sap dripping from the spile. Sometimes
three to four times a day, Grandpa and the family hitched
Dobbin to the sled and traveled to the sugar bush to
Corner Stones of the old sugarhouse
can still be seen today, it was here that the
entire family worked to boil the sap into syrup.
Wood of course was the only fuel, and it took quite a
pile of it. Grandpa was in charge of the work in
the sugarhouse to make the syrup, while Grandma was in
charge of the kitchen where the cream, candy and sugar
Sugar was at that time poured into
molds that formed square blocks of sugar. As it was
needed, it was scraped off the block. White sugar
was rarely used. All the canning, baking and
cooking was done with Maple Sugar.
When father took over the farm he
continued to harvest the syap in the same manner.
Times were changing and he did keep up with the
times. the Wooden spiles were replaced by ones cast
from iron, and those were replaced by less costly ones
made of tin. The wooden buckets were replaced with
covered buckets of galvanized steel, and a Farmall
tractor replaced Dobbin. Father made a bit more
syrup than Grandpa but the same loving care went into the
When Father retired he sold the farm
to a son whom also has a love of sugaring. Much has
changed in this generation. The demand for syrup
and its products has forced production to increase.
We still hang a few buckets down by the road but now it's
a world of hi-tech equipment including plastic spiles,
vinyl tubing, battery powered drills, reverse osmosis
filters and stainless steel. There is still a lot
of TLC that goes into our products along with lots of
pride. We have two large evaporators, which are 6
feet by 16 feet and 5 feet by 14 feet stainless steel
pans that are turbo diesel fired, and to keep them
supplied takes several hundred thousand gallons of
sap. Although we still tap the same trees that
Grandpa did, we also lease several other sugar bushes
totaling over 83,000 taps.
Each spring we hire several loyal
people for tapping and boiling. The sugarhouse is a
busy place from November to April. Several times a
season the sap flows faster than it boils and we boil
around the clock to catch up. The coffeepot never
stops during sugaring season; neither does the
camaraderie of good friends. After the sap stops
and everything is cleaned up we continue the daily
process of making various products from the syrup.
We only jug our syrup or make the different products as
needed to insure that what is in the jug, or shelf is
fresh and that all of our products are made in small
batches to insure consistent taste.
We are very proud of our history and
today's physical plant and would like to invite you to
take tour any time of the year.
We here at PATTERSON FARMS hope you
enjoy your visit to our website and we welcome your comments