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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

  • Dave Sexsmith
    Dave Sexsmith

    Dave first joined the OWA at the invitation of a friend and he has been an active member since. He has served on his chapter’s board and hosted field days for the organization.

    Through his involvement with the OWA, Dave has met many people who share his fascination with trees and enjoy exchanging experiences and ideas. Knowledge gained has allowed Dave to better appreciate the ability of the forest to provide products for our use and still be the biodiversity centre of our province.

    Through tree planting and natural regeneration, Dave, and his wife Lois, have seen their old farm fields convert into a treed landscape, providing wildlife corridors and habitat.

    A lifelong woodworker, Dave produces a wide range of woodland products, from firewood and lumber to carved burl bowls while, at the same time, observing how his property is evolving back to mature forest.

    Of his experience with the OWA Dave says “I came out to get answers to my forestry questions; I’ve stayed because of the quality of people I’ve met.”

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