Ana Fernandez came to Vermont on a whim last year when a friend told her about a job opening at Nebraska Knoll Sugar Farm in Stowe. The Michigan native is now spending her second season sugaring at the farm, spending her days (and nights) boiling sap, changing the filter press, and checking the lines in the woods.

Nebraska Knoll Farm
Nebraska Knoll Sugar Farm in Stowe

Prior to coming to Vermont, Ana had some experience sugaring but nothing compared to her work at Nebraska Knoll Sugar Farm, which is owned by Lew and Audrey Coty.

What Ana loves most about sugaring is being in tune with nature as the process depends entirely on the trees and the weather.

“For me, the biggest appeal of working in a sugarhouse is how repetitive yet soothing the work is. When I’m boiling, I’m checking the density over and over and over again. Outside of boiling, my mind is always thinking about a million things, and this work makes me concentrate on one task at a time. It’s extremely meditative.”

Happy Vermonters is a series of vignettes sharing why people love Vermont.