Terry & Diane Hoover - Owners of Hoover's Maple Syrup
About the Hoover's
Sit back, relax and prepare yourself for a "real" heart warming story.
Picture a small, eight year old boy, pleading with his Mom and Dad to let him tap a maple tree after visiting a Maple Syrup operation the night before.
Reluctantly, my Dad helped me tap my first tree in front of our farmhouse. Each night, after school, I would run up the lane to see if the sap had run that day, not quite understanding the “perfect syrup” weather theory.
As reluctant as my Dad was to help me tap the tree, my Mom followed suit when I asked her to help me boil the sap into syrup on her stovetop. We boiled that sap down into syrup, and thus began Hoover’s Maple Syrup!
The next year, I tapped and boiled on my own, playing around with up to 50 taps (my first official expansion). By age 18, with the help of a friend, brace and bit in hand, we tapped by hand 100 taps each and hung buckets to catch the sap. This was the first and I might add, the only year we tapped by hand. The next year, I had purchased a tapper that fit onto a chain saw.
Over the next few years, we slowly expanded to 300 buckets and 300 taps on tubing. By 1980, our first vacuum system was in place and a lot of learning was done that year!
In 1988, we pulled up stakes and moved from Nobleton to our present location, just north of Atwood, Ontario. Now keep in mind folks, we left behind a 3 acre bush and are now tapping a 50 acre bush. We’ve increased the amount of work, but amazingly, our staffing numbers haven't increased. We have 1/4 of the bush tapped and continue with roadside maples, bringing our total taps to 1000. Each year, we plan to add taps in our bush.
In order to keep the tradition alive, we continue to use buckets around the "Sap Shack" and along the roadside, but we also want to show how modern technology works, so we having tubing and a vacuum system that brings the sap from the bush all the way to the "Sap Shack"
50+ years later, I'm still making syrup and my parents, my brother and his family and my wife are helping me keep the tradition alive.
"Sappy" story? Maybe, but we are enjoying carrying on with this age-old tradition.