In the early 1990s, as the DIY ethos was just beginning to take hold across the country, Dr. Joseph Lurio had a dream—to produce maple syrup in his own backyard. Inspired by a workshop at a local nature center, with only a simple hand-powered bore drill, a tap, and a plastic bucket, he began to collect sap from an old maple tree he found on a neighbor's abandoned lot. Every early morning in March, before his young children went to school, he would trudge with them through the late winter slush to the maple and collect the slightly sweet sap from the bucket. By the end of the month he had enough sap to boil down the sap to a sweet syrup to host a “Sugaring Off” with his suburban neighbors and for everyone to taste a spoonful of the treasure he had found in that maple tree. As the years went by, his children lost interest, the neighbors moved away, the abandoned lot was reclaimed by its owners, and he too moved away, his dream put on hold.
A number of years later, pulled to the area by its haunting beauty and the great skiing opportunities, he and his wife, Penny Wolfson, bought a farmstead in the heart of the Catskill Mountains—a farmstead with large stands of maple trees and old sugar making equipment littering the property—and his dream was reignited. Having converted an old barn on the property into a sugar shack, he started to begin to harvest sap, with help from his nephew and wife, in the winter of 2012, to share with his friends and family. The Lurio family is proud to now be able to sell its syrup commercially, and share with the world the wonderful treat that Joseph Lurio first found in his suburban backyard!
Mountaintop Maple Syrup
Made in NY's Catskill Mountains