Kurn Hattin Homes Taps Into Another Sugaring Season

Westminster, Vermont – In 1987, Kurn Hattin Homes’ Farm Manager, Real Bazin, took it upon himself to convert the old incinerator building into a sugar house for one simple reason – he wanted the children to have real, homemade maple syrup. That act of kindness has grown into a time-honored tradition that the children and the entire Kurn Hattin Homes campus look forward to every year.

It takes a lot of time and teamwork to get to that sweet reward. The middle schoolers help Real by tapping the maple trees, setting buckets, and running the tubing lines in Kurn Hattin Homes’ own sugar maple grove.  They also learn about the science and the art of sugaring as students take turns gathering the sap and visiting the sugar house, where they observe the boiling and evaporation process.

Real explains that it typically takes about 40 gallons of sap to produce just one gallon of maple syrup. This year, because it was a mild winter and the sugar content of the sap is lower, it will take about 70 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup. Another result of the mild conditions is that syrup production is expected to be lower than in recent years. So far, 25 gallons of syrup have been produced, and the hope is to produce another 10 gallons before the season ends.

When Real looks out to the forest and sees a hint of red appearing on the trees, he knows that sugaring season is almost over. So, as another sweet sugaring season wraps up, Real can take pride in the tradition he started in the renovated sugar house 37 years ago and that the children have real maple syrup for their pancakes and desserts. He can also take pride in the fact that he converted a building that once burned garbage and produced a pretty bad smell into one that now burns wood and produces a great smell and delicious maple syrup!

If you’d like to support Kurn Hattin Homes by purchasing our maple syrup, still made the good ol’ fashioned way, please contact Director of Facilities, Adam Hallock, at 802-721-6941 or ahallock@kurnhattin.org.


About Kurn Hattin

Since 1894, Kurn Hattin Homes for Children, located in Westminster, VT, has helped thousands of children and their families by offering a safe home and quality education in a nurturing environment.