Big Beaver Pure Maple Syrup: A Sappy Story
Depending on whom you ask - nothing beats a stack of pancakes covered in pure maple syrup - especially if the syrup comes from your own backyard.
Leave it to the Beaver family to do just that.
The sweet sound of sap dripping is music to the ears of Michael and Chandra Beaver in Ralls County, Missouri....who say it takes a lot of work and a lot of sap to make just a small amount of maple syrup.
"You've got to boil 40 gallons down to make a gallon of syrup," says Michael Beaver.
Welcome to Big Beaver Pure Maple Syrup located on the Beaver family's 40 acres of land near Mark Twain Lake.
"There's about 200 trees," Michael adds.
Michael and Chandra's two kids, Tanner and Landon, head outside every morning to empty more than 100 buckets of sap into 55 gallon drums.
"It gives them a good work ethic, teaches them responsibility. Chores have to be done every day," explains Michael.
But the kids say it's not a chore at all - they love being a part of the family business.
"What is your favorite part about making syrup? Cooking it and eating it. Do you ever get tired of maple syrup? No," says Tanner and Landon Beaver.
The 55 gallon buckets are lined up and pumped into a boiler.
"It's taken me about an eight hour period to cook down a 55 gallon drum, about every 40 minutes I've got to refill it," Michael explains.
Once the liquid has boiled down enough, it's filtered and taken inside to be finished on the stove with a thermometer.
"I'm hoping to have at least 20 gallons this year," says Michael.
But not all of it will be bottled and sold.
"We eat more maple syrup than the average person," Chandra Beaver adds.
"How often do you guys eat food with syrup on it? Like every day," laughs Landon and Tanner.
The Beaver family spends many hours in the sugar shack because getting from tree to bottle takes weeks but it's those hours they value the most.
"Do you like spending time with your parents? Yeah," Landon and Tanner say."
"Too many kids all they want to do is sit inside behind that TV and they don't want to come outside and enjoy the stuff that our grandfathers did and out great grandfathers did. If people don't keep doing stuff like this it's going to be a dying art."
You can visit Big Beaver Pure Maple Syrup on Facebook here.
If you'd like to get some of your own syrup you can message the page on Facebook or call the Beaver family at (573) 822-0582.