To walk with George Gavutis is to walk on the wild side – the wildlife side that is. A wildlife biologist by training, George has 33 years experience with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A stroll in the woods with him is a graduate seminar in Seacoast flora and fauna with some wetland restoration thrown in. So what does a man like this do in his spare time? Twenty years ago, he began tapping local maple trees to make syrup for friends and family.
What started as a hobby is now a small business, Hemlock Hollow Maple Farm. George taps 600 maple trees in Kensington, collecting 6,000 gallons in a good year (it takes 30-60 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup). He started out filling buckets attached to the trees, but as his business grew, this became too labor intensive. Keeping his production as traditional as possible, he created a tubing system using gravity to collect the sap. The sap is then boiled (using wood from his property) to remove the water and create delicious pure syrup. George’s syrup is available at Eastman’s Corner.