The Slopeside Story

Fifty years after Mickey and Ginny started Cochran Ski Area, four of their grandchildren embarked on another Green Mountain tradition - bottling pure maple syrup.

In the summer of 2010 the four cousins constructed a timber frame sugarhouse (at right) a snowballs throw away from the slopes. Timbers for the building were milled on site from nearby trees. By August, the cousins had moved on to installing the tubing that would bring sap from the trees to tanks at the sugarhouse. Installation of the tubing continued through the first sugaring season of 2011 to tap over 5,000 trees.

It took the next ten months to install 12,000 more taps for the spring of 2012 sugaring season. March of 2012 brought an unseasonably hot week of over 80 degrees and resulted in the worst sugaring season in recent memory. With only half the syrup of normal, the cousins did farmers' markets across New England to increase the more profitable direct to consumer sales rather than selling all of the syrup in bulk. Thanks to this hard work and a grace period from the bank, the business limped into 2013.

With a better season in 2013 and continuing the direct to consumer sales that were drummed up in 2012, the cousins were able to expand to the 22,000 tap potential of the land.