Butternut Mountain Farm, our maple sugar supplier, is rooted on a 800 acre tree farm located at the end of three miles of rough dirt road on a hillside 1000ft above the village of Johnson.
Dr. James Wallace Marvin purchased much of the land that would become Butternut Mountain Farm in 1953, though the land’s history of sugarmaking dates back to the 1800s. Dr. Marvin made huge contributions to the research of maple sap flow and harvest systems. He also co-founded the Proctor Maple Research Center
and the Vermont Maple Industry Council
. David’s, Dr. Marvin’s son, passion for maple was the foundation upon which the Butternut Mountain Farm was founded. David has a degree in Forestry from the University of Vermont and worked for the United States Forest Service in their maple research program for two years before starting Butternut Mountain Farm in 1973.
For the last forty years David, Lucy, and the next generation of Marvin’s, Emma and Ira, have been building relationships with other local maple sugar makers, slowly growing to become the largest volume packer of Vermont Maple Syrup. Collectively, Butternut and the sugar makers with whom they work manage over 100,000 acres of land. Butternut Mountain Farm proudly tracks every barrel, ensuring that every drop can be traced from farm to table. Pictured below from left to right: Ira, Lucy, David, and Emma Marvin.
David dedicates much of his time to inspecting and promoting the health of the maple farm eco-system including a diverse range of other tree species. In 1995 he put the family’s Johnson Farm land into a conservation easement through the Vermont Land Trust. “We have invested a lot of sweat equity into keeping our trees as healthy as possible, and now this land is going to be better able to serve future generations,” says David. “It’s very comforting to know that someone won’t come along motivated by greed or ignorance and very quickly reduce 100 years worth of work.”
The 2016 season proved to be the biggest producing to date for Butternut. The lack of snow during the winter made tapping much easier and the season started early with the first boil in February. In total, there were 33 days of boiling and 209 barrels of syrup made!