Meet Marian & JP Welch
Owners & Operators of Justamere Tree Farm
"In all that we do, we seek to manage the forest in a way that sustains it and our future as sugarmakers."
Justamere Tree Farm is located in the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. Situated on 60 acres of rolling hills filled with maples and birch, the land is home to chickadees, pileated woodpeckers, wild turkeys and of course Marian and JP Welch.
The couple met in 1981 in Appalachia, planting trees for the forest service. Living in a camper, planting state by state they saved their hard-earned capital with a dream of a homestead. In 1982 Marian and JP purchased their first piece of land.
Maple Sugaring began as a family hobby. From buckets to lines to vacuum pumps, the centuries old tradition became a way of life.
Proud to be a company run on clean, sustainable and renewable energy, the sap is boiled on a wood fired evaporator. With sustainability as a number one priority, they installed their first solar panels in 2010. In 2017, with additional solar panels, the farm became 100% solar powered.
An avid cyclist and outdoors enthusiast, JP is committed to the conservation of his sugarbush. He is currently working with the Massachusetts Maple Association and the Audubon Society to make his sugaring operation a protected bird habitat. The first Bird Friendly Maple Syrup in Massachusetts is on its way to your table!
JP has always embraced the newest technology of Maple Production. He attends workshops, conferences and seminars held by Proctor and Cornell Maple Research Centers. He served as President of the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association for three years running and continues to serve on the Board of Directors.
Marian was raised in Southwest Minnesota on the family farm. Her Great Grandfather Michael began working the land as a part of the Homestead Act of 1862.
A true homesteader in every sense of the word, committed to the traditions of the land and the seasons of the Northeast, Marian plants her garden, tends her chickens and fills the larder for winter each year, doing the important work of sustaining the health of her land, family and community.
Marian published her first cookbook in 2018. Every recipe is a reflection of her commitment to no refined sugars and no processed foods. Anyone that knows Marian knows how valuable her no nonsense attitude is in a world of complicated food-stuffs.
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