Match day: Triple your impact toward ending hunger.
Total loan: $5,000
Fort Plain, NY, United States / Agriculture
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A loan helped rekindle a sweet passion: making maple syrup! I will purchase equipment to tap 400 maple trees, laying the foundation for a sustainable, lasting, expandable enterprise that diversifies the farm product line and moves the farm toward profitability.
Growing up on Long Island, I spent time in New York City, Westchester, and upstate NY. I loved making music and fixing cars but got a business degree—then bought rentals, learned construction, married, was successful in sales, moved, had a kid, built race cars. Along the way, I learned to trim Christmas trees, make hay, raise game birds, and make maple syrup. Eventually I realized that I preferred working with my hands to sitting at a desk and changed my life: lost weight, became a competitive cyclist, and built a bar for a friend. My partner, Pam, introduced me to Slow Food, organics, and local pasture-raised turkey … and reminded me how delicious homegrown tomatoes are. We boiled maple syrup in a friend’s backyard. When Pam considered raising meat rabbits, I offered to go halvsies. That slippery slope led to buying a 185-acre farm in upstate NY, not far from where I had learned about making maple syrup on my daughter’s first-grade field trip. In 2014, Pam and I agreed that maple syrup was a big part of the plan for Abundance Acres Farm, but other enterprises took priority while we prepared for this moment. A sugar bush is a long-term investment with a relatively quick return before becoming profitable. The short maple season is imminent; we must get started NOW! This 400-tap installation is Phase 1 of many. I envision 4,000 taps on our 65 wooded acres and would like to acquire an adjacent maple-dense parcel. The sugar bush will be an important, profitable farm enterprise that I can operate into old age. The product (maple syrup) is delicious, shelf stable, and readily saleable (retail or bulk). A maple tree cut for timber produces once and is gone. When tapped for syrup, it produces annually—potentially for generations.