In the late 80s a friend of ours called us up one spring to ask if we had any sugar maple trees. Since spring was a quiet time on their dairy farm they wanted to try making maple syrup. Brian tapped our trees for them and delivered the sap whenever it ran. After the season was over they rewarded us with some of that years fresh maple syrup. It was wonderful!
This experience got us interested in the process so the next spring we asked if they were going to do it again. Having decided not to, we asked to borrow their equipment so we could. They agreed and we tapped our trees, Brian built an open fire hearth in the back yard and we boiled our sap and made half dozen quarts of syrup (albeit a bit smoky).
The next several years we read all we could to learn more, we traveled to sugarhouses throughout NH and Vermont and Brian would ask questions from the sugarmakers we met. By 1990 we had moved into our woodshed to keep out of the rain and snow while boiling and we knew we were hooked. That year Brian convinced me we needed a sugarhouse. He built it that summer and fall and we opened to the public in the spring of 1991.