Karen’s love of nature was instilled from a young age by her parents providing exposure and supporting her curiosity. Her family backpacked in the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Grand Canyon, and spent considerable time exploring the beaches and tide pools of the Oregon coast. These experiences along with regular viewing of nature specials with her family and a lot of reading led to her appreciation of science and an undergraduate degree in Microbiology from Washington State University and Doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Oregon State University. Karen remains inquisitive, embracing life-long learning, and is happiest when in the woods or on the water. Cooking maple syrup brings together these passions and provides an opportunity to work closely together as a family, enjoy fellowship with friends, and pass on a love of nature and connection to the land to her sons.
Karl grew up on a dairy farm in central Wisconsin, the youngest of 11 children. His Mom and Dad instilled a love for the land, a work ethic, an expectation of perfection, the importance of education and a sustainable lifestyle which involved cooking maple syrup each spring. Like Karl, his brothers and sisters loved to cook maple syrup and still enjoy the process and the product today. Though neither of Karl’s parents graduated from high school, their work ethic and value they placed on education resulted in their sons and daughters achieving 26 college degrees! Karl’s love of nature and the outdoors put him on a pathway of pursuing a degree in Wildlife Ecology from UW-Madison along with a Master’s degree in Wildlife Science and a Doctorate in Forestry from Oregon State University. Cooking great tasting, high quality maple syrup has been a life-long passion of Karl’s that he has passed on to each of his 3 sons who have taken his passion to a new level.
Lincoln, Logan, and Lance
Our sons can often be found working in the maple woods or fishing on one of the many lakes northern Wisconsin has to offer. They are close in age and have many shared interests, while each also his own unique qualities. Working in our family’s maple syrup operation has taught them many skills in areas such as road improvement, laying concrete, roof replacement, repairing lines, clearing brush, cleaning equipment, engineering solutions to challenges, cutting and splitting a lot of firewood, marketing, and sales channels. We hope they will continue to love being in the woods as much as we do, and that they will apply lessons learned in their future years.