We are Jeff & Lori (McAdam) Jenness and prior to producing maple syrup together, we each produced syrup with members of our families.
- In 2006, we were recognized as “New York State Tour Maple Persons of the Year”
- In 2006, we were recognized as being a stop for the 2006 New York State Maple Tour.
- In 2009, we were recognized as “St. Lawrence County Maple Producers of the Year.”
Jeff serves as a St. Lawrence County Delegate to the New York State Maple Producers and is on the Board of Directors for the St. Lawrence County Maple Producers.
Lori serves as Vice-President of the St. Lawrence County Maple Producers; is serving as the St. Lawrence County Maple Weekend Coordinator for 2010; and is past secretary for New York State Maple Producers Association.
The first year we produced syrup together was very interesting to say the least. As a young girl Lori’s family had 3,000 taps and they were all buckets so she was very traditional and not to interested in the idea of gravity tubing.
So Jeff & Lori compromised and they had 500 buckets and 500 on gravity tubing. Lori soon learned from Jeff how to put tubing together, make drop lines and everything else to run more gravity tubing for the next year. The girls weren’t far behind on the the learning curve for tubing.
The next item they compromised on was the use of a Reverse Osmosis. Lori was sure the syrup would taste different and didn’t want any part of it. They knew they needed to try somthing that was more efficient in the amount of fuel they burned and time they spent in the sugar shack. (At the time they were both working and the late nights made for long days). They agreed to try the Reverse Osmosis for a year to see what the results were. To Lori’s surprise there was not a change in the taste of the syrup and they sure didn’t burn as much fuel oil – less carbon footprint. An added bonus was getting to bed much earlier.
The next major change was building a new sugar shack since they had out grown the last two. The next discussion was whether or not to have radiant heat in the floor. With two daughters as past Maple Queens and many visits to Sugar Shack (Sugar Houses) Lori was convinced it was needed. Jeff wasn’t so convinced but as luck would have it they were able to pick up the necessary eqiupment and parts brand new – but at a used price! Needless to say Jeff had a lot of patience with Lori, Brianne and Courtney as he taught them how to lay the pipes for the radiant heat, right down to bending it and fastening in before the cement was poured.
Then began the construction of the Sugar Shack – again Jeff deserves a medal for his patience in teaching us how to: construct walls laying down and then to stand them, insulating, about electrical wiring (spacing for clamps to hold the wire down every so many inches), about installing PEX and fittings, and the list goes on. What we are trying to say is we did it ourselves!
The next conversation begins when Lori and the girls with help from friends and family (all female) begin to decorate the Sugar Shack. We are talking collages of pictures (each with its own theme), shelves, a banner (made by a dear friend which was a surprise to all of us – she was in on the decorating), a “Wall of Fame”, curtains and the list goes on. Jeff isn’t so sure about all of this “There isn’t a Sugar Shack around like this”. The answer “we know!” Needless to say the pictures and decorations have grown on him and are enjoyed by our family and visitors. It’s great to share!
Needless to say, it was a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but with help of family and friends, we used it for the first time in 2008. We would like to say THANKS to all our family and friends for their help in getting us where we are today! ~ Jeff & Lori