Kenn Hastings, also known as the Master Sugar Maker, started the maple syrup production at Bread Loaf View Farm with owners Janet and Churchill Franklin in 2008. They started in a tiny sugaring house left by the prior owners, and now, ten years later, they have a gorgeous state of the art sugar house that doubles as an educational space. They open their doors to the public for the statewide open sugar house weekend every spring and teach people about sugaring. You can watch the sugaring in action while Kenn walks you through the whole process of how the farm takes sap from their trees and turns it into delicious Bread Loaf View Farm maple products.
Sugaring always happens during the spring when the skiing season is about over, the fishing season hasn’t quite started yet, and outdoors people are waiting around in limbo. During that time period in the Spring, Kenn always found himself with extra time on his hands, but quickly found sugaring to fill that gap! He caught what he calls the “sugaring disease” his freshman year of high school, and has been making maple syrup ever since.
Once after a bad winter of ice storms in 1998 he decided to throw in the towel and sell all of his equipment to a friend, but his wife likes to joke that after he sold his setup and got out of the business he was right back in it half an hour later! This longtime commitment to the maple world has definitely paid off. Every year Kenn competes in the Addison County Fair and Field Days with Bread Loaf View Farm maple syrup and maple cream, and he’s won Best in Show (the best of the best in Vermont) for his maple cream. Thanks to the support from the Franklins, Kenn didn’t just stop with his tried and true maple cream and syrup. Recently he’s been getting creative and crafted two maple syrups that are infused with the flavors from bourbon and rye whisky barrels.
Middlebury Foods featured Bread Loaf View Farm maple syrup as a monthly special back in April, and we got to learn about the sugaring world from Kenn a few weeks ago. We highly suggest that you go check out their open house or pancake breakfast next spring - Kenn is an amazing teacher!