News from Vermont #439 – Winds of Change Blow at Morse Farm!

January 20, 2023
Hi Folks!
I wanted to take a moment to share a quick Morse Farm update at the start of the new year, as 2022 ended quite momentously here in East Montpelier.
On December 30th, Morse Farm finally changed hands and I (Jake) am now the owner and Burr has officially retired. This proved to be a lengthy and complex process that required a lot of our time and energy.
Now that the transfer process is complete, I look forward to having more time to devote to managing the business and thinking about how we can keep what makes Morse Farm special in place while improving the experience for our visitors and staff.
I know that folks are curious, so two points I’d like to reiterate are that the business stayed in the family, as my mom is Burr’s sister, and – more importantly – Burr Morse is ALIVE and WELL, traveling, playing music, and generally enjoying the freedom that comes with being an ex-business owner. Burr even used some of his newly found spare time to share some of his impressions of the Christmas wind storm we experienced (see below).
On December 23, a storm with a mixture of snow and rain accompanied by almost hurricane force winds hit Vermont, knocking out power at the farm for more than two full days, leading to an unexpected, longer than usual Christmas break. Fortunately our farm buildings did not suffer any real damage due to this event.
The storm reshaped the local landscape as many mature maple trees that had been tapped for decades were lost and local sugarmakers (including Morse Farm) now have to make significant repairs to our tubing setups due to wind damage even as sugaring season rapidly approaches.
Wind storms and business updates aside, I want to thank all our customers and visitors for your support during the past year and to wish folks a belated Happy New Year! We will next share an update when sugaring season begins.
Burr’s take on the Christmas storm:
“How does that song go, “All I want for Christmas is my…”? All I really wanted was some good ol’ fashion family time with maybe a few cocktail sauce-dipped shrimp thrown in. Instead I spent Christmas with a different family member of sorts, a guy named Murphy, that’s “Murphy” of “Murphy’s Law”!
My power went out around 8:00 AM on December 23…”No problem, I said to myself…It’ll be back soon.” You see, in my 69 years at this Green Mountain Power location, I had never seen a power loss of more than a very manageable few hours. In fact, because of that good fortune, I never bought a generator…stupid, stupid! My hope was powering down with the approaching dusk that same day. “Has the patron saint of electrification forsaken me?”, I asked myself. The next morning I had my answer; cold, forlorn, worried, I dug in like a true Vermont woodchuck.
Finally, three days late and what would prove to be many dollars short, the lights came back to life around 9:00 PM, Dec. 25. And that, my dear friends, was my shortchanged and hopefully most unique Christmas. And the dollars short part…repair jobs needed on six burst pipes now glare at me through ragged holes in my living room floor and bathroom wall…completion dates to come. Will I now spring for a generator, you ask? You betcha!…I can already hear its soothing but powerful hum.”

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