Choosing West Virginia Craftspeople
“My wife wanted to give maple syrup as a favor at our wedding. That’s how it all started, with 20 trees. Now we’ve got 600.”
Rich Flanagan makes maple syrup with his dad, at Flanagan Family Maple in Wayne County. There are more tappable maple trees in West Virginia than in the state of Vermont. We need to support West Virginia craftspeople like the Flanagans.
“500 gallons of sap yields 7.4 gallons of maple syrup.”
It’s a full time job, on top of his other full time job in forestry, and his wife’s career as a professor at the University of Charleston. During season, he usually works from the time he gets home until 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning. He was also past president if the WV Maple Producers Association.
Rich sells out all his product from the spring by June, without much trouble. But like most farmers, entrepreneurs, and craftspeople, he doesn’t really do it for the money. He seems to care more about the quality, the craft.
That’s precisely what we lose when we hand our economy over exclusively to giant, out-of-state companies.
If we want a government where people are rewarded for their hard work and dedication to quality, we have to fight for it.
See some of our plans to address these issues here: