It all began in 1990 when we decided to buy a sugar camp located in T5 R20 Wels on Great Northern Land in Somerset County by the St-Zacharie Gate on Golden road near the Canadian Border. Somerset County is the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States. At the time, we had 6,000 maple taps. This small sugar bush gave us quite the headache, especially since it was located a mile from the only accessible road. We had to take snowmobiles in order to get there. Throughout the years, we experienced many adventures, some of them being fun, others not so much.
Since then, we were able to start fresh at a location in Dole Pond, thus giving us the idea to call it “Dole Pond Maple Products.” It has become a family business and our children have been helping us since 1996.
The building of a modern maple sugar camp was a great challenge for us because we had to do everything ourselves from the installation of the tubing and taps to the preparation of the boiling room and its equipment. We transformed a building bought from “Dumas Logging Company.”
Once the season begins, the sap arrives at our camp in an electrical sap extractor and falls into our storage tank located inside the cabin. If it becomes too full, the sap will then start dumping into one of the 4 five thousand gallon exterior tanks. Then, the water is processed through the Lapierre separators, where 14 membranes separate 3,800 gallons of sap in an hour. Then, the remaining sap which is now more pure, is boiled on a Sirocco boiler (6″X 18″) wood pellet, resulting in a pure delicious golden maple syrup. The electrical energy needed is 130 KW from a Cummings generator and two other generators 30KW and one 100KW to run the two pump houses.
We begin tapping the trees around the beginning of January and finish around the end of February. During this period, I hire two full-time workers along with my wife, Sylvie and son, Alex.
When we begin the boiling process, we each have our own assigned tasks. My wife boils the sap and I make sure the separator and the water release is done correctly. My son and our two full-time employees tap the trees and check for any leaks in the tubes.
Usually the maple sap starts flowing around the 17th of March and ends towards the end of April and sometimes the beginning of May. We generally produce two barrels of syrup per hour. Our biggest accomplishment was producing 22 barrels of syrup per day (equivalent of 1,200 gallons). We produce around 13,000 gallons of pure maple syrup every year.
Currently, we have 37,000 taps and two pump houses running on vacuum pump 25HP generators.
In 2017-2018, we had 37,000 taps and we made about 13,000 gallons of pure organic maple syrup.
Our son Alex is now a fulltime partner and manager with us and we have a lot of projects for the future. We are looking forward to your visit!
Jean-Claude, Sylvie, Alex.