Spring 2004 – Issue 10
By Ethan Dezotelle
Belvidere maple producer taps into new territory
Joe Russo looks ever bit the part of a traditional Vermont maple syrup producer. From the tip of his yellow toque to his durable overalls to his heavy duty winter boots, he typifies the image of a rugged sugarer, willing to take on the elements and, if necessary, defy Mother Nature to put out a crop of quality maple syrup. He also comes off as a bit of an anachronism, dressed as he is, given the backdrop of the cutting edge sugaring operation he has built over the past few years. Standing behind his sugarhouse in Belvidere, his mustache catching flakes of gently falling snow, he reaches up and places a hand on one of seven white three-inch pipes stretching down from the Belvidere mountainside and into the sugarhouse.
“People look at these things and think it’s really something,” Russo says. “They come up here to check things out and get really excited.”