Just a few miles down Otsego Street in the Village of Ilion sits one of the oldest farms in New York. The clap saddle farm has changed identity a number of times but always stayed within the same family. "Well it's important if you're brought up to do that you automatically do it. You know I've been brought up to honor my great grandfather and my grandfather and all the work they put into building businesses and we just continue."
And 22 years ago Jim decided it was time to enter the maple syrup business. And even his tools have a history all their own. "I started it outdoors with cement blocks and an old black pan which I still have out there and the black pan I brought from a friend out in Otsego County that was his great grandfathers, so even the maple syrup pan I started out with was 100 years old."
Jim says he's seen a change in Mother Nature over the years and that's why this year's yield will be meager. "I think this year's going to be the poorest year we've ever had because the trees are going to bud and next week its going to be 70 and I pray for lousy weather, snow and low temperatures that's what we need right now. But when I tell my friends that they say 'Oh no you're nuts' I says no no without that we don't have any more maple hahahaha."