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Berkshire Eagle File Photo

At the time, we were still milking cows. One of our hired hands suggested that to pass the winter months, Rob [Leab] might enjoy making syrup. They tapped all the maple trees in the yard and had 13 buckets. They boiled over an open fireplace, on the wood stove in the shed and in the farmhouse kitchen, where they had pots and pans all over.

“After that first season, when they had made a few quarts of syrup, Rob’s mother said he was never going to boil in the farmhouse again. After all the boiling, the wallpaper wanted to start to peel off the walls and all the cabinets were sticky.”

— Missy Leab, co-owner of Ioka Valley Farm, on her husband’s introduction to maple syrup production. The farm now has over 18,000 taps and produced more than 8,000 gallons of syrup during the 2019 season. Read more here.
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