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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.

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  • Smith Family
    Smith Family

    For the Smith family, their connection to the forest goes back over a century, and at least four generations. Located in what’s known as the Frontenac Axis, their woodlot has the mixture of white pine, white cedar and sugar maple typical of that landscape.

    Kallista Smith joined the OWA after attending a field day, and immediately got involved on the Limestone chapter board. Her mother, Tracie, followed suit at the next AGM, and Kallista’s brother Justin joined the next year, after returning back to the area from college.

    The Smith family has always been interested in identifying plants in the forest and have already hosted one field day on their family property. Tracie is in the process of registering a forest management plan under the MFTIP, something she heard about after joining the OWA. The family wants to host another event, this time in the spring, with a focus on wildflowers.

    As Justin puts it, “Belonging to the OWA introduces you to like-minded people. The return in education is well worth the membership.”

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