Albert Martin/Norman Horst Woodlot
The 18-acre woodlot provides a disproportionate part of the farm income mix for Norman Horst, his wife Bernadine and their three young children on their 110-acre mixed farm just outside Elmira. Norman estimates that sales of maple syrup and timber from the bush provide about 25 per cent of the farm’s income to go along with the apple orchard, hogs, cattle and poultry. “It was the location that helped my father when he started up,” adds Albert Martin, who operated the farm prior to the Horsts buying it in 2000. “We used to have customers right from Kincardine to the odd one in Toronto and Montreal. Dad didn’t start making syrup until 1944,” said Albert. His father also planted the orchard. Albert grew up on the farm and started farming in 1959, later buying the farm from his father.
“My main objective is to remove the bigger ones so I always have different generations of trees,” says Norman. “Big trees look nice but they kind of deteriorate (for sap production). I think the main thing you can do is keep the forest growing as vigorous as possible,” says Norman.