Maple sugaring season is a ‘magical transition time’ for one Landgrove sugarmaker
“Sugar Bob” Hausslein calls himself a “full-time sugarmaker.” He spends most of the year making hot sauce, spiced nuts and other specialty food products using his home-harvested maple syrup.
But sugaring season is still a special time for Hausslein.
“Winters in Vermont are long,” the Landgrove maple producer tells filmmaker Reilly Rose. “We sort of huddle up towards the end, you know? It’s just that magical transition time, of rebirth – and coming out with sugar.”
The roughly six-week sugaring season spans winter and spring. As he collects sap from antique buckets hung from trees near his family’s home, Hausslein sees shoots emerging from the ground and listens for the sounds of frogs.
“We start thigh-deep in snow, in our snowshoes, and finish in our sneakers,” he says.
At the heart of the process is the boil – when “Sugar Bob” invites friends and community members into the sugarhouse while the sap is turned to syrup.
“The best part is, it’s sugar that we’re making,” Hausslein says. “We’re not harvesting potatoes or wine or grapes. It’s sugar. That’s what makes the magic happen.”
“Making Maple” is a short film by Reilly Rose. See more films in our Made Here series.