Crane Creek Farms

Type: Farm

Produces: Maple Syrup

Location: Lawler, IA

Miles from Coop: 88

At 2 am, Jeff and Jesse Eichenberger finally got their first taste of their own pure maple syrup – and they were hooked.

They pulled it off the grill in their garage, later discovering they’d wrecked the drywall with the steam that poured off their inaugural batch. But it was too late to care about that – they’d found a new passion. 

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Father and son team Jeff and Jesse have upgraded their hobby’s facility, building a beautiful wood-sided sugar shack (with a cupola to let the steam out – no need to seal it in, garage-style), and shiny stainless steel evaporators, but they still make small batch syrup. Jesse designs their labels and they work as a duo: “You just become addicted to it,” Jesse admits.

They’re sugaring the old fashioned way, with wholesome-looking metal taps (called spiles) and metal pails on each tree they empty every day the sap flows.

“We’re a small producer – we never dreamt that demand would be like this! We’re just trying to bring what we can to the Co-op,”

Jeff explains. 

“People wanted to log our woods, and I said, nah, that’s not going to happen,” Jeff explains. “We didn’t want to cut them down.”

The new maple syrup industry is preserving Iowa’s small nooks of remaining forest. 


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