Cabot, News

­Alexander Tree Sugarhouse Holds Open House

CABOT – Calvin Alexander opened his sugarhouse to guests for the annual Spring Maple Open House Weekend on Sunday, March 24, after a snowy Saturday open house that brought no visitors: which was just as well because his tractor got a flat that day.

photo by Paul Fixx
The sugarmaking crew: Mike Walbridge, Jeremy Maxfield and Calvin Alexander get started with the day’s boil after thawing tap lines on Sunday, March 24.

His aunt, K.C. Wright, visiting from New Hampshire, hauled slab wood to ready the bonfire.

An evening of thawing the tire and a late evening trip to, where else but Tractor Supply, 20 or so miles away, had the parking area mostly clear of snow. He and his crew were ready to fire up the arch when they discovered frozen tap lines.

As the crew worked to thaw the lines, he had his hand in a little bit of everything to get ready for the day’s visitors with a smile on his face.

Meanwhile Calvin Alexander’s mother, Susan Alexander, served up the day’s feast of hot dogs boiled in maple syrup, mapley baked beans and the traditional sugar on snow with pickles to cut the sweetness and maple-drenched donuts.

photo by Paul Fixx
Calvin Alexander’s mother, Susan, dishes up sugar on snow with pickles and a maple drizzled donut at the sugarhouse. The sugar on snow was a desert after hot dogs boiled in sap and maple baked beans.

A young visitor named Felix, enjoying a warm cup of dark maple syrup with a smile on his face, said it was his second cup of the week.

Calvin Alexander has owned the sugarhouse since the spring of 2022 when, through a chance encounter, he learned the 25-year-old sugarhouse, was for sale by the Ackerman family. He knew that maple sugaring would be a good complement to the work he’s been doing as an arborist since 2011.

photo by Paul Fixx
Montpelier’s “Rootbound” performed in the Alexander Tree Sugarhouse woodshed, Sunday, March 24, during a Maple Open House Weekend. Performers were (from left) Kyle Montgomey, banjo and harmonica; Ally Tarwater, mandolin; her brother, Jeremy Tarwater, guitar; Micah Ball, bass; and Sam Markewich, percussion.

He jumped in to make an offer before Vermont land fever, set off by the COVID pandemic, sent the price soaring and scraped together the funds to buy the 27 acres with its sugarhouse and modern equipment. It was too late for maple sugaring that year, but he’s had two good years since.

photo by Paul Fixx
Calvin Alexander heads to start a bonfire for guests at his Alexander Tree Sugarhouse in Cabot on Vermont’s 2024 Spring Maple Open House Weekend, Sunday, March 24, after a Saturday that brought roughly a foot of powdery snow.

Alexander’s roughly 2,000 taps on 27 acres had already yielded 400 gallons of the sweet maple product this year, most of which he sells wholesale to Morse Farm in Montpelier. He does sell some syrup from the sugarhouse at 179 Tetrault Road, Cabot. Visitors are welcome to see the syrup made, or call (802) 917-1503 to check on boiling times.

Paul Fixx is editor of The Hardwick Gazette and lives in Hardwick.

Comments are closed.