Freshness to the Max...
It Starts Here.
We Love Local
Uncle Dean's loves supporting local farmers, bakers, and candle-stick makers. These are our friends, neighbors, and fellow Maine-ers. They, like us, want to get back to basics and make available the best quality products to our customers. These small businesses often got their start out of a desire for better quality products for themselves and their families. Now we get to share in the bounty!
Whether it's home-made breads and salsas, freshly harvested produce, free-range chicken eggs, or pasture-raised beef, Uncle Dean's supports local producers. We want to provide our customers with the best Maine has to offer, and items that you can't buy at the big-box stores. We think we do a pretty darn good job of it, too!
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(keep scrolling for the insider stories of some of our local vendors!)
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Buy Local, Support Maine: Raider’s Sugarhouse
What began as a fun family tradition every winter for the Tibbett family soon became a concerted effort to make their small-batch, Maine maple syrup available to the public. The family bought their current property in South China in 2003 with no idea that it was a maple sap gold-mine. All that began to change as Doug and Gail researched and honed their tree-tapping and sap-boiling skills in order to make a sweet treat for their two sons and family friends. In 2012, though, once the boys were older and the couple had a bit more time on their hands, they officially launched Raider’s Sugarhouse (named after their dog who loved to hang nearby hoping for some delicious left-overs). Though the duo are still working lengthy hours at their day jobs, their maple business has grown over the past seven years as they have continued learning and increasing their efficiency. Their production quantity has increased so much that they have been required to upsize their evaporator – twice!
Raider’s currently taps about a five-acre maple grove using a home-made tubing system. This network of PVC tubes runs from tree tap to tree tap and allows the maple sap to run directly into the sugarhouse storage tank to await boiling. This type of system is typical amongst medium- and high-producing maple sap businesses because it helps to reduce the number of maple buckets that need hauling through the cold and snow. With these tubes in place, along with some miscellaneous trees still tapped using traditional buckets, the Tibbett’s collect anywhere from 8,000 to 20,000 gallons of maple sap per season. While this may seem like an enormous quantity, when boiled down to the proper consistency and sugar-content, this produces a much reduced 200-500 gallons of maple syrup! The quantity of sap collected varies so drastically because sap “runs” are highly dependent upon the outside temperature. The sap only flows when it is around 35-degrees during the days and 20-degrees at nights. If the temperature drops below these temperatures for a few days then the sap runs pause – maybe for the rest of the season – until the temperature is ideal once again.
The Tibbetts have plans to expand their tapping capacity once they retire from their day jobs. For now, though, they are content to be involved in Maine Maple Sunday every year and to serve the 50 or so retailers in Maine that source their maple syrup from. Come try some for yourselves today!
Click the links for an insider look at more of our local vendors:
Steelbow Farm | Norridgewock, ME read>
A Wee Bit Farm | Orland, ME read>
Maine Medicinals | Dresden, ME read>
Riverwind Farm | Vassalboro, ME read>
Ironwood Farm | Albion, ME read>
The Milkhouse | Monmouth, ME read>
Full Fork Farm | China, ME read>