From our trees to your table...
Mike and Kristine O'Malley moved to Vermont in 2003 after spending five years in Washington state. Originally from New York state, they wanted to move closer to family before having children of their own. Soon after, they bought a small plot of land in Bolton Vermont. Mike worked in maintenance and eventually grew his career to a facilities director of a local college. Kristine worked (and still does) as an occupational therapist in the local hospital.
In 2011 the Vermont Land trust conserved 489 acres of land abutting the O'Malley's home. As their driveway was the right of way to access this land, they decided to try to purchase the conserved property.
After being turned down by multiple banks, Mike and Kristine eventually secured a loan based on the value of the land's sugar maple with the goal of logging the land in order to repay their debt. Not entirely happy with this solution, they did more research and determined that sugaring could support their family and protect the forest. So Mike began the process of teaching himself the sugaring trade. He started with a 50 bucket operation, then soon left his facilities job to become a full time sugar maker. Four years later the operation had grown to 10,000 taps.
The O’Malley’s now have two children, the eldest, Abby, age 10, whom the operation is named after and Quinn, age 8. Both are very involved in the daily sugaring practice and taste a sample of every syrup batch. It is the O’Malley’s hope that the land and sugaring operation will be a legacy for their children and for generations to come.