The Rexrode’s have been making maple syrup in the Blue Grass Valley for as long as anyone in the family can remember. “There was always a sugar camp there,” Everett Rexrode remembers. His wife Anna Lee Rexrode recalls that the Rexrode family has been making syrup for at least five generations. “We do it because it’s always been in the family,” she says simply.
The sugar orchard over contains two hundred year old trees running all the way up from the house and sugar camp to the top of Monterey Mountain. Like many producers in the area, the Rexrode’s open on a warm day, in the last week of January to Mid-February , “when the old freeze goes out and a new freeze comes in.” The Rexrode’s run their sugar water through a Reverse Osmosis machine and then cook the syrup the old fashioned way over wood-fired pans before it is finished over more precise heat. As a testament to the longevity of this operation, they’ve recently needed to replace their well-worn sugar pans over a century old for new stainless steel pans.
In this family operation, everyone has their role and everyone comes back to the farm to help during maple season. Mr. and Mrs. Rexrode’s grandson, Derek, opens over one thousand trees and makes the syrup with the help from his cousin Brandon and a few neighbors, their granddaughter Jaimie makes the maple fudge, and their grandson Jeffrey makes maple rock candy. Mrs. Rexrode still can be found in her kitchen making maple sugar cakes.
The Rexrode’s Sugar Orchard a popular stop during the Highland County Maple Festival. In addition to offering maple syrup and the maple products listed above, the Sugar Camp also offers food and drinks for purchase. Whatever syrup is not sold during the festival can be purchased by calling in an order.
Rexrode’s Sugar Orchard
Everett and Anna Lee Rexrode
Maple Sugar Rd. Hightown, Virgnia