The sweet smell of spring fills the air in Vermont when finally the sap begins to flow to the tops of the birch, beech, and maple trees. Vermonters make time to celebrate spring by venturing out of their winter burrows to visit a Vermont Sugar house at the end of March. Those who do get out enjoy the sweetest of flavors of maple sugar on snow, and, if they go to the right sugarhouse, they’ll be treated to the sweet taste of hot dogs or eggs boiled in maple water.
Two generous, friendly, and humble sugar makers I know are Burr and Elliott Morse, two brothers who have been sugaring on the Morse family farm as the seventh generation of sugar makers for as long as they can remember. Burr and Elliott have a whole flock of followers, as well as long time employees, newcomers, and a host of grandchildren coming up as if breaking through the deep winter snow. Among the long-time employees is Audrey who can tell stories of long ago when her father operated the saw mill below the old Wrightsville Dam or when a young Gerald Pease, now in the heavenly barn for dairy farmers, would bark like a dog for one of those hot dogs boiled up so sweet to accompany his sugar on snow, which always, at Morse Farm, has the required dill pickle, and a generous helping of traditional plain, yet tasty doughnuts, from the famous Wayside Restaurant.
So get on out to a sugar house near you this spring, or find your way to Morse Farm Sugar house on the County Road only two miles outside of Montpelier. You are bound to have a really Sweet Experience!