Here's Arlow when he was 8 years old, making syrup in the backyard of his parent's home in Granby, CT, using a homemade evaporator.This is how it all got started! Ever since then, the Case family has made maple syrup, with each year the equipment and production becoming more "professional". Arlow now taps around 1,000 trees, and we make around 300 gallons of syrup in a season. It is bottled into all size containers, from little samplers of 3 oz. to 5 gallons pails. His wife Susan makes other maple products using the pure maple syrup, including sugar, candy, lollipops, and jelly. All four children help out with sugaring; from tapping the trees, collecting the sap, to boiling, and canning. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make just one gallon of syrup! All grades of syrup are made here.... Grade A light, medium, and dark ambers, as well as quality Grade B. Maple syrup can only be made in the Northeast of North America, using sugar maples as the primary source of good sap. Sugaring season usually begins in mid-February, and lasts until the beginning of April. Freezing nights and thawing days make the sap flow. For more information about sugaring, visit www.ctmaple.org
Arlow and Susan Case have always had a love for growing things. Their first farmstand together was a small self-service roadside stand in front of their house in Blandford, MA 20 years ago. They grew tomatoes, blueberries, beans, squash, pumpkins, and more in various locations to supplement their income. The farmstand in Hartland, CT started out on a card table selling the excess produce from the garden, and each year it grew. The stand was still self-service, but was housed in a portable trailer and under a tent, until the sugarhouse was built.Crops in the past have included several different varieties of tomatoes, grape and cherry tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers, summer squash, zucchini, peas, beans, cucumbers, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, onions, radishes, winter squash, all types of pumpkins, gourds, cut flowers, and culinary herbs. The whole family helps out with the planting, weeding, and harvesting. No chemical sprays like fungicides, herbicides, or pesticides are used. Sometimes that means loss of crops, and hand weeding is a chore! But healthy eating begins with the best possible produce, and you can't get that with trucked in and over-sprayed stuff at the store!
The littlest Cases enjoying their fresh picked sunflowers.
Susan grows several different varieties of sunflowers,
as well as other cut flowers such as zinnias, salvia,
dahlias, and cosmos to put together colorful bouquets.
They are started in the greenhouse to get a jumpstart
on the season, or some seeds are directly sown into the field.