The state of Michigan is home to many wonderful sugarmakers. They each have their own unique story, so occasionally we will feature a sugarmaker from around the state to give you a peek into their operation. This month, we invite you to meet the Wyman’s of Wyman’s Backwoods Syrup.
When Mark Wyman bid on 130 acres in Clare County, site unseen, back in 1993 he may not have realized he was purchasing a new lifetime hobby as well as a home for his family. As with many producers, they started with a few pails and a flat pan in 1996 but it quickly progressed to 400 pails and the construction of a sugar shack in 1998. Over time, the pails were replaced with tubing and they more than doubled their taps.
They have several mainlines that flow by gravity into seven different collection points throughout the woods. Mark uses a tractor and trailer to bring the syrup to his holding tanks at the sugar shack near their house.
In addition to the evaporator and filter press for processing the sap, their sugar shack contains a very organized kitchen where Mark and Stephayne do the “cooking” and create delectable treats such as maple sugar, maple candy, maple caramel corn, maple cashew crunch, maple coated peanuts, maple cream and more!
Although Mark has configured his maple syrup operation so he can accomplish most tasks himself, he enjoys engaging family help when their free time allows.