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Jim and Jan Barton

Jim and Jan bought Maple Tree Farm in 2010; 105 acres with 85 acres forested. Since their purchase, they have discovered a true passion for trees and have been working hard to repair and upgrade buildings, trails and other features on their land.

Part of their focus has been on reviving a maple syrup operation that had been dormant for over a decade before they moved to the farm. They have since invested in a sugar shack and a 500-tap maple syrup operation.

With the help of forest professionals, they have been carrying out improvement harvests to remove the poorer trees (cutting firewood and sawlogs) — leaving the healthier trees with more room to grow. Over time, they hope to expand their maple syrup operation as they have also discovered the nutritional benefits of this golden food source and wonder of nature.

Joining the Ontario Woodlot Association seemed like the right thing to do to learn about the forest and their new “hobby,” so they became members and have hosted a local field day. They have become strong supporters of the OWA and appreciate the good forest management information that membership provides.

Member Profile

  • Lorne Smith
    Lorne Smith

    I live on the farm where I was raised on McCowan Road, just north of Major Mackenzie Drive and south of the Markham Fair Grounds. The farm has been owned by our family since 1917.

    In 1962, when I married Carol Reesor from Cedar Grove, we built our new home on the farm. Part of the property is a regenerating forest/wetland and all of the trees around the house have been planted by me over the years. Right now I am being plagued with dead ash trees which I am cutting down for firewood to use in the air-tight stove in the basement.

    In addition, the family owns 325 acres of mixed forest just east of Bobcageon where I boil maple syrup each spring. This forest is all under a MFTIP plan.

    I have developed a real commitment to good management of these properties and the membership in OWA has provided me a great deal of information, encouragement and friendship with many like-minded individuals.

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