We ain't outta
the woods yet...

we're up the creek
at the end of the line.

Take a ten minute walk back in the woods off of Lenox Road in Lawtons in the early spring and you’ll find Nobert Gabel Jr., known as “Bub” by his family and friends, hard at work feeding an ever hungry fire in a small sugarhouse billowing with warm sweet smelling steam. For Gabel, making maple syrup has been a family affair, starting with his father Norbert Gabel Sr. who made syrup in addition to dairy farming on Kaiser Road.
— Face of a Farmer, Erie County Fair

Gabels Maple Syrup is owned by Norbert Jr. (Bub) and Lynn Gabel and is operated with the help of our family and a couple of dedicated friends. We took over the syrup business from Norbert and Rita Gabel in 1990.

The business ran on leased trees and 2,500 buckets. In 1993, 1,800 taps were added in a leased sugar bush with a gravity tubing system and the bucket lease was abandoned. The next year 1,000 more taps were added and in 2000 the woods was purchased. A new woodshed was added in 2001 and a new sugarhouse added in 2006. A vacuum system was added in 2007 and a building added for vacuum and sap storage.

All of the buildings have been constructed with lumber sawed on our portable sawmill from trees harvested from the sugar bush. Forest management and thinning was started in 2008 with significant increase in sap now coming from the managed areas. Sweet trees were planted in 2013. Updating the tubing system is still in progress.

The sugarhouse sits 700 feet back into the sugar bush following a woodland creek on the same site and with the same mason chimney as it did in 1950. Most of the sap flows directly to the sugarhouse using a milk tank under vacuum for collection. Sap is filtered through a DE filter. Sap is boiled on a 5x16, 10' Max pan and a 6' Revolution syrup pan, wood fired evaporator with a pre-heater. Wood is handled using pipe frame wood racks moved with a skid steer.

Our sugaring season is typically from mid-February through the first part of April. Come visit us on Maple Weekend and experience Maple being made!