Sugarhouse Tour at Matt’s Maple in Marlboro

Saturday, March 24 at 1:00 p.m. Windham Regional Woodlands Association presents a tour of Dave Matt’s sugaring operation in Marlboro. This season will be the 38th year that the Matts have been sugaring on this farm and like most smaller operations, it’s truly a family operation with Dave’s Dad, both his sons, and his grandkids all helping out. The farm has been in his family since it was first settled in the 1770s, and Dave has sugared there since 1980.The current sugarhouse is the third one to be built on this property. Over the years they’ve done three major rebuilds as needs and equipment have changed. They currently set around 1,800 taps and make 450 to 500 gallons a year. About 1,200 taps run directly to the sugarhouse and are on vacuum. The other 600 taps are gravity lines that empty into three separate tanks and are gathered with a 500-gallon tank on a pickup truck. They do not have a reverse osmosis machine, but do have a 5 x16 wood fired evaporator with a steam-away, so boiling gets done relatively quickly. Wood is cut, split, and piled on racks and stored in a shed with greenhouse panels and solar powered fans to heat and move the air, so the wood burned is very dry. The racks are brought to the sugarhouse with forks on a loader and set inside near the arch. They fire right from these racks, making handling as efficient as possible. Dave says, “I hope you can make it on March 24th; I'd love to show you around!” Directions: The address is 308 Hall Farm Road, Marlboro, VT 05344. From Brattleboro, take Rte 9 west into Marlboro, and turn right onto Hughes Road, which is about 1 mile past the Golden Eagle Motel. From Wilmington, take Rte 9 east past Hogback Mtn. and turn left onto Hughes Road which is about 1/2-mile past Hogback. Hughes Road is directly opposite Butterfield Road and is just about where the passing lane up to Hogback starts. Go on Hughes Road about 1/2 mile and turn left onto Hall Farm Road, Matt’s farm and sugarhouse are at the end of the road.