Brookfield Maple, Westfield, Tioga County
Owners: Bud and Tina Bowers; Jim and Jackie Mills
and Jackie Mills purchased their farm near Westfield in Brookfield
Township, Tioga County, in the early 1980’s. The two grew up on
farms about a mile apart in the nearby town of Mills, and wished to
return to their farming heritage.
the historic farm, maple syrup had been boiled down in an old
sugarhouse in the woods for as long as anyone could remember, and
the Mills continued to produce enough syrup for home use and to
share with loved ones.
Bowers started helping on the farm in 1985, marrying Jim and
Jackie’s daughter, Tina, in 1988.
started helping various people make syrup when I was about 14 years
old,” Bud said. “I guess I got the maple bug and have loved making
maple syrup ever since.”
the early 1990’s, a wildfire swept across the bucolic farm,
destroying the historic wooden sugar house.
family was undaunted, installing a wood-fired evaporator in the
garage. At this time, Bud and Jim had 210 taps, with sap flowing
into metal buckets hanging from the trees in their sugar bush.
resulting 200 gallons of finished product was sold in bulk, and they
decided to enter into the maple business, starting Brookfield Maple
in 1996. Unlike the old sugar shack, the garage had electricity, but
the only running water came from a garden hose.
1998, an old bookstore building on the farm was renovated to house a
more modern maple operation, and the building now boasts five
distinct areas to house the large oil-fired evaporator and reverse
osmosis machine, a kitchen and a store where the finest pure maple
products can be purchased.
Brookfield Maple is a unique operation; one of the few Certified
Organic maple producers in the region, having first earned the
distinction in 2004.
Retaining the license requires an annual inspection by the
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) of the
farm grounds, equipment and records to remain in compliance with
strict organic standards.
Contrary to popular belief, not all maple syrup is organic. Though
many producers practice organic stewardship of their lands,
certification requires extra effort and expense and tedious
record-keeping to ensure only the highest-quality, sustainable and
responsibly-produced products are labeled organic.
decided to go organic because we are very concerned with what’s in
our food products today. That is also the reason we raise our own
vegetables and beef,” Bud said. “At my house we don’t eat processed
foods, and I could count on one hand the number of times in the last
year we ate any.”
independent inspector certifies that no herbicides or pesticides
have been sprayed, that buffer areas are maintained around the sugar
bushes to prevent runoff, certified organic products are used, and a
sustainable number of taps are placed in trees.
“This gives us and the landowners we lease from peace of mind that
we are taking care of the land, and most importantly, the trees,”
Bud said. “We work very hard to make sure we supply our customers
with the best maple products and, in doing so, take care of our land
Brookfield Maple maintains approximately 4,000 taps, many of them
on leased property. A copy of the inspection report is sent annually
to each property owner to show that the folks at Brookfield Maple
are being good stewards of the land.
and Jim take care of the everyday activities around the farm,
working in the forest and running equipment. Tina handles internet
orders, jugs syrup and helps make a variety of products. Jackie is
the farm’s chief salesperson, handling craft fairs, events and
promotions. In addition to maple activities, they raise beef cattle,
are an authorized dealer of LaPierre Maple Equipment, and Jackie
cares for three large gardens that grow wholesome foods for the
addition to organic Maple Syrup, Brookfield Maple also produces
cream, candy, maple-walnut topping, maple sugar, crunch topping and
coated peanuts. Homemade fudge is available seasonally or by special
During Maple Weekend, boiling demonstrations are available, as are
samples and sales of the finest organic maple products. For more
information, visit the farm’s website at brookfieldmapleproducts.com
or call 814-367-5284.
reach the farm, take PA-49. Just west of Westfield, turn north onto
North Fork Road and continue approximately 2.5 miles. Turn right
onto Plank Road and drive approximately ¼ mile. The sugarhouse will
be on the left-hand side of the road just past the barn.