Maple Row Sugarhouse
The Making of a Sweet Thing
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Date: 2/10/2017 7:52 PM EST

We get asked all the time..."Do you take your maple syrup containers back and refill them?" 

The answer, "No. We can't."  

  At Maple Row Sugarhouse we are a certified facility with Michigan Dept. of Rural Development and we are pleased to be the cleanest facility in Southwest Michigan that our inspector has ever seen.  When you buy Pure Maple syrup from us you can be guaranteed that your maple syrup is going into a sterile new container.

And I get it, it seems like a waste to just empty the jug and throw it away. I struggle with this ALL. THE.TIME.   Remember, I'm the Maple Mama and when something isn't quality enough to be sold to ends up in my kitchen for me to use to experiment with. I've had a lot of empty containers go into my trash can.  I feel sad, because I personally think it is a beautiful jug!! :) And I was at a lose of what else to do. 

At 2016 Maple Festival we displayed a cute bird feeder with the instructions,  that was made by one of our workers from a used maple syrup jug.  I kept that feeder, hung it out my front door, put some yummy bird feed in it and waited to see if birds would actually come to the maple syrup jug. 

It took the birds a few days to find it, but sure enough, they soon were enjoying the maple jug bird feeder. The little sap suckers and I were pretty excited to see the birds enjoying the maple syrup jug feeder.  They older two children (aka little sap suckers) would help me keep the feeder full so the birds would keep coming back. 

Did I mention that this is great tool to used to educate your children on recycling and about birds??  Oh my!! My children learn without even knowing it and it is the best and the most fun for all of us. They are eager to learn when it is fun!

So how do you make this wonderful bird feeder from your used maple syrup jug?  Let me and the little sap suckers show you how we did it. And here is a printable for you to follow too. 

In this plan we used a 2" circular hole for the feeder hole, but you can make it whatever shape or size you like. Use your imagination and the tools available to you to make the maple syrup jug bird feeder that you like; but we will show you the way we made ours!  

Items we used: drill, 2 1/4" hole saw bit, 3/16" drill bit, unit-bit, wooden sticks 10" - 12" long and about 3/4" diameter for perch,  thick jute string, pencil, ruler, scissor 

Since not everybody will have all these nifty tools on hand, here is a list of items that may be more simple for you! :)  

Drill, utility knife or copying saw, string, wooden dowel or small pvc pipe for perch.

Steps to making to Bird Feeder:

1. First, enjoy your Maple Row Sugarhouse pure maple syrup.  Any size container will make a bird feeder; gallon, 1/2 gallon, quart, pint, or 1/2 pint.  We like the half gallon and quart size the best!  Rinse out the container with really hot water. Just plain water cleans the little bit of extra maple syrup that gets left in your jug.  Make sure you save the lid! 

2. We first measured for where our holes would be placed. I measured 1" to the left of the seam of the syrup jug and 1/2" - 1" from the bottom for the perch hole (depending on the size of my container I was useing);  and 1" to the left of the seam of the syrup jug and 3"-4" up from the bottom for the feeder hole.  (You can make it the measurements as you need them to be there is no right or wrong way to do this.) Be sure you are marking your measurements with a pencil. You are basically marking the center of your holes for your perch and feeder hole. 

3. We then used our uni-bit and made a hole for our perch stick. 

We used the hole saw bit to make the feeder hole. 
The bit left some shavings on the jug so we used a small knife and cleaned up the holes. 

4. Last we drilled a small hole with a 3/16" drill bit in the top of the lid for our jute string.

  I cut a 2 foot long string, tied the ends into a knot and pulled the string through the hole of the lid. Then screwed the lid back on the jar. 

5. Slid the stick perch into the prepared hole. Because our sticks weren't completely smooth and uniform we used some caulk to kept the perch in place.  

6.  Your bird feeder is now ready to hang up. Don't forget to add Bird Seed.

Simple. Easy. Fun. (Children will need adult supervision.)

For printable instruction Click Here.

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Date: 1/13/2017 10:34 AM EST

Good morning Muffin! Who doesn't love a muffin in the morning? 

A cup of coffee and a Maple muffin.
 Sit down... grab a book or newspaper and sink your teeth into a delicious maple muffin
 while sipping your favorite cup of coffee or tea. 

I'm always looking  for an excuse to use my maple syrup.
 Pure maple syrup has more nutrition in it than regular white sugar. 
You can find more info about pure maple syrup nutrition here

Let's get started.

You will need:

2 cups flour (I'm a crunchy mama so I like to use whole wheat flour or half white/ half wheat)
1/2 cup sucanat (this is evaporated cane sugar. it looks alot like brown sugar. If you don't have it use brown sugar. )
2 teaspoons baking powder (preferably without aluminum)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk (we love using whole milk)
1/2 cup butter, melted (unsalted butter is best)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (the darker the syrup the stronger the maple flavor)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Before you start, grease or paper-line a muffin tin. This will make about 16 muffins.

Mix all the dry ingredients together (flour, sucanant, baking powder, and salt)
In another bowl combine all the wet ingredients (milk, butter, pure maple syrup, sour cream, egg and vanilla).
Take the wet ingredients and pour into the dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened.
Then fill the prepared muffin tin/s two-thirds full.

Don't forget to make the topping.
You will need:
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons of pure maple sugar(or sucanant or white sugar)
2 tablespoons chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold butter

Combine the flour, sugar, nuts, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Then sprinkle mixture over muffins.

Bake at 400 degrees for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Enjoy! and don't forget to order you Pure Maple Syrup and Maple Sugar at

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Date: 12/26/2016 7:00 AM EST

Come in!!! Welcome to our HOME!
As I look around my house, I see mess after, mess, after mess. There are shapes all over the floor from the one year old scattering them for the THIRD time in one day!! The older 2 children helped pick them up twice already. Random socks are found under chairs, in the middle of the floor and under the kitchen cabinets.

 Why is it so hard to take them right to the dirty laundry hamper when you take them off??

Sunday school papers are colored on and then thrown on the floor. Toys have escaped the toy box! Even cups and silverware some how fall off the counter and table, remaining on the floor, because nobody wants to claim that they used them.

 The laundry room is just on the other side of the stairs and there are piles and piles of clean and dirty laundry. Lots of dirty, because 6 people wear a lot of clothes and some decide to wear 2-4 outfits a day, sometime because they got them wet and other times just because they see a prettier shirt or outfit that is definitely better than the one they have on!

Need to use the bathroom? Beware of the smell. Little children sometimes forget to flush the toilet, therefore leaving an aroma for the next sorry fellow who has to use the bathroom. Oh, you'll want to know the toilet flushes hard. It's not broken, just press harder. (smile)

 When you reach for the towel to dry your hands, it may be soaking wet. Yep, it tends to fall in the sink when the 3 year old is washing her hands and doesn't bother her one bit. Oh, there could be the dirty underwear laying on the floor from a 6 year old boy who took a shower but missed getting them to that dirty laundry hamper, right around the corner.

You'll surely want to visit the office. Piles and Piles and piles of papers waiting for this maple mama to just do the bookwork and file them all away. Watch out for the trash and scrap paper that doesn't make it into the trash can, don't want you to trip over it. Oh, and the Sugarmakers boots... we would miss those boots if they weren't there to walk around. We love Him so much!

Step out of the office and walk straight up the stairs to our sitting area. Books.....lots of books. What can I say. I love to read and I'm passing that on to my children. The books are scattered throughout the room and bedrooms. Toys that were played with didn't get put away. And there is that recliner....tipped upside down...again! They know that that is not allowed! And yet they say it makes a great mountain for the train to go through.

A quick look into the bedrooms will be enough. Toys, books, and clothes, papers, pencils, and stickers. It really does give them imaginations! I'm always getting papers. "Mom, I made this for YOU!"

What's that room? Oh the school room/play room. They were playing store yesterday. Seriously looks like a tornado went through! I'm just turning around and looking the other way! They were playing so nicely, all four of them! I'm happy!
he master bedroom. Spotless. Uh hum, well not quite. dirty clothes in the bathroom. In a neat pile. and Clean clothes scattered on the floor. We are just going to be wearing them again. It was quicker to just dump them and gather the neat pile of dirty laundry and take it downstairs.  When there is about 1/4th the pile left, then it will get folded an put away,
I'm pretty sure of that.

This is normal for this Maple Mama's house.  It is a choice to either look at the mess and get upset, or crack the whip and get everybody putting things in there place. About once a week we focus on digging out of the pig sty.  It doesn't take long. It's not always enjoyable, but this Mama is learning to make her home full of joy and unsoddy work.

I'll admit I have wanted to walk away from it all before. I hate messes, but I love my children more. This has been a lesson I've had to learn.  I know God has ordained me to minister to my children His love and His ways. Even if there are books, toys, paper piles, dishes to wash, and other messes....I choose to keep my JOY first. Oh, I'm not perfect, there are times I loose it, but I know that my Mindset plays a BIG part of keeping that joy and smiling faces flooding the house.

What is better than a little sap sucker coming down in the morning and wanting to sit and cuddle on my lap in the middle of all the mess! JOY!

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Date: 12/25/2016 10:57 AM EST

The Year is coming to an end, and we are so thankful for all our customers. 

As we look back on this past year many things have changed
 and we are thrilled for the new season that is before us.
  We pray you can look back and reflect in your life 
all the blessings of the past year 
and Smile because you know, we are going to be 
making that delicious Maple syrup again soon.
 May you and your family have the Merriest of Christmas
 and the Happiest of New Years!

Daniel, Christy & family

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Date: 11/22/2016 5:07 PM EST

Thanksgiving is only a week away, oh my, and you are going to be having some pie real soon.

Make a delicious Maple Pumpkin Pie!

I love a good pumpkin pie, but when I discovered that I could use Maple Sugar instead of regular white sugar, I was thrilled!! You want to try this recipe this year for you Pumpkin Pie.
The best place to get that Maple Sugar you are needing for is it right 

Here is what you need:
1 3/4 cup Pureed Pumpkin
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup half & half, warmed
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup maple sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger

The Maple Mama Tip: Preheat oven to 400 degrees before starting.(thank me later! :) )

In a bowl add the pureed pumpkin. Easy!

Next add the 1 teaspoon of salt.
(I like to use REAL salt, because it has been
 not been refined and still has nutritional benefits)

Then add the 2 Tablespoons of flour. 
(whole wheat or all-purpose will work.)

Now add the 1 cup of Maple sugar.

Then add the 3 most important spices:
 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, 
and 1/2 teaspoon of ginger.

Now don't be like me and dirty another bowl, Haha! I should have taken my three eggs, beaten them first, then added the other ingredients; but, sometimes recipes get a little crazy. But don't worry it all turns out great in the end!!
Just take three eggs crack them in a bowl and beat them up!....then....

Add them to the bowl of all the other ingredients. 

Last find a #littlesapsucker to run the mixer and mix all the ingredients together for you.  They will have a wonderful time doing it and be more willing to help next time!! :)

Pour the mixture into the prepared unbaked pie crust. 

Ready to Bake!

In the oven it goes.
 Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. 
Then reduced the temperature to 375 degrees and cook for another 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when you prick the pie. 
Let cool! 
And serve with whip cream(if desired). 

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Date: 11/14/2016 2:35 PM EST

As I sit and watch the last of the leaves falling from the trees, I'm in awe of the beauty God has in the change of seasons.  This is a short slow time for us as we change from doing Maple events to getting ready to tap Maple trees.  We have changed so much as a family and business the last 7 years.  And as the change of each season is beautiful, so is the change of our lives. 

As a family we are so blessed by the wonderful children God has given us. It hasn't always been easy to accept that God would trust us to raise such a generation, but we are thankful to Him for each Blessing!  After the 2017 Maple season we will get to meet the 5th blessing to our growing family! 

Our Maple business, Maple Row Sugarhouse, has had it's changing seasons too.  And looking back God has blessed us many times over.  In the past 6 years we have multiplied our taps 1,000 times. That is amazing!  And new things are about to happen as we Dream of more growth to come. 

Enjoy our new blog, as we will be sharing so much more with you in the coming year!.

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Date: 7/14/2015 3:19 PM EDT


It sure is about time I finish our Maple Story on how we got our name. Right?

I'm starting to forget so I need to hurry up and post this so I remember!! ;)

2013 - This was another crazy learning year for us. We started leasing a woods about 2 miles from us on Patterson Hill Road. Daniel learned a lot that year about setting up tubing in a sugar bush. He was able to get 300 taps put in at Patterson Hill and 500 taps in road side trees that year.

We build our own little Sugarhouse (which we still use today) for our once again new evaporator!
With so 800 taps our little evaporator from 2012 wasn’t going to be big enough. And here we go again….out with the small…in with the bigger! 

 A Sunrise wood fired 30 x 8 Evaporator…that should do us right? Well, We made it through the 2013 season with that evaporator, but we knew we’d either better go big or go BIG. Quitting wasn’t an option!

It was during this Maple season we realized we needed a name for our Maple hobby, that was now turning into a business. We started brain storming that year for a permanent name for our Maple business.  I filled a sheet of note book paper with names that we came up with.  We wanted something that was unique and had a meaning of who we are. As I mentioned in the second part of our story, we were doing a lot of roadside trees, it was making sense that if you’d look on a map you’d see that the trees were in a ROW.  Therefore, the name MAPLE ROW SUGARHOUSE stuck!  We love it and hope you do too.

A neat part of our story is what we found out last year  when our neighbors had their 100 years celebration for their farm. One hundred years ago their family had planted a row of maple trees on their farm (some of the trees are still standing) and called them “Maple Row”

And that’s how we got our name for our sugarhouse. Hope you enjoyed our little adventure and will continue to follow use as we continue on our Maple journey!


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Date: 1/28/2015 8:19 PM EST

In December 2014 we started working with Michigan State University on Russ Forrest. They are starting to do more research on Maple and we are pleased to be a part of this project.  
We have been in the woods for the past 4 weeks setting up tubing and preparing for the Maple season. We still have a lot of work ahead of us and hope to finish the woods before the season begins.

Above you are viewing pictures of Reggie building the pump house for Russ Forrest and the children and friends putting together fittings and drops that are needed for setting up the lines in the woods.
The drops are a 36" tubing line that has the tap on one end and 'drops' down the side of the tree to the line that then goings to the main line.
The fittings are called 'saddles' cause they fit like a saddle around the main tubing and connect the two different size tubings.
I know that was probablyTMI (to much information), but I hope you are then getting a litle more of an idea of all the work that goes into setting up a new sugarbush(Maple woods).

Look in our photo album for more photos on our seasons progress.

Last Maple season we worked with the school in Volinia and helped the students mordernize, tap, and collect the maple sap. This sugarbush and the one on Patterson Hill just need to be tapped and some maintenance before the season begins.

We are also planning our Maple Weekend which is Saturday and Sunday, March 14 -15.  Newberg Fire and EMS are putting on a Pancake and Sausage breakfast in which all the proceeds will go to them. We are supplying the Maple syrup and location. So we expect to see most of you here on Saturday.

Check out our Maple Weekend page for more details.

Enjoy your time indoors this winter as we are in the woods working in the snow and ice preparing for another exciting Maple season!!

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Date: 8/6/2014 8:14 PM EDT

Oh, HONEY, the bees are buzzing and the flowers are smiling around here.

Some exciting news for Maple Row Sugarhouse and Olson Farms!!  We now have HONEY BEES!!

This summer Daniel decided we needed to add another adventure into our lives: welcome honey bees!  Yep these are those little buggers that if you are walking barefoot in the grass and not paying attention and you step on the poor little thing it will sting you!!

Just ask Kenny about that…he did it twice in one week. OUCH!  I reckon he is very thankful for the plantain that is in the yard. Did you know that if you get a bee sting you can take a plantain leaf, chew it up really good, making a paste with your spit and plantain and then put that on your sting right away!  It is fantastic in drawing out the poison from the stinger.

Anyway back to honey….
There are a total of 56 bee hives – 28 on the farm and 28 at the sugar bush on Patterson Hill road. In the evening we’ve taken the children on the Mule to check out the bees. It has been very educational watching the bees making honey.

So visit our Store by local Southwest Michigan Raw Unfiltered Honey. It is delicious!!

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Date: 7/21/2014 8:05 PM EDT

Ok. Don’t laugh…wait I’m laughing so laugh with me!! It’s a very CUTE name for a muffin isn’t it! I thought so! This muffin is good any time of day; breakfast, coffee break with Poppa, lunch dessert, midnight snack, etc.

This is a recipe which I altered to make most healthy for you and me and it is soooo yuummmmy!! Just ask my husband and children.

Just a little note about this recipe first…in the photo my batter turned out runny because I decided to use coconut oil instead of soft butter like I usually use. They still turn out delicious and no, you couldn’t taste the coconut for all the people that don’t like the taste of coconut.

I also used maple sugar to coat the muffins instead of white granulated sugar. This could get very expensive when you buy the maple sugar; as we all know it is not cheap. I’ve made the recipe with both white sugar and maple sugar. The maple sugar gives it a very good maple flavor without the muffin being crazy sweet. Whereas the white granulated sugar makes the muffin very sweet.

Maple Muffin Puffs Recipe

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups.

In a large bowl combine 3 cups of all purpose or whole wheat flour, 3 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Stir and set aside.

In a separate bowl cream together 2/3 cup softened butter or shortening and 1 cup of pure maple syrup from Maple Row Sugarhouse! J

Add 2 eggs and mix again.

Alternate adding 1/3 of the flour mixture and ¼ cup of milk to the creamed mixture till you’ve added ¾ cup of milk and all the flour mixture, beating well after each addition.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden or when toothpick comes out clean after inserted in center of a muffin.  Remove muffins from pan and set aside.

To make coating, melt 2 sticks of butter(1/2lb) in a bowl or glass pan. In a separate glass bowl combine 1 ½ cups of maple sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon. (we like ours cinnamonny!)

Dip the warm muffins in the butter, coating thoughly. Then roll in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. If you used maple sugar the muffin will soak up the sugar a lot. The children love helping with this step.

Last step…EAT….deliciousness, maple goodness, give me another please!

Ps. Thanks to Kenzie Stutzman for helping make these delicious muffins!!

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