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Rod Hale's son-in-law Ed McClain pours the harvested tree sap into a bucket to carry it to a holding tank. Hale's one-time maple syrup hobby has turned into a small business. Bulletin photo by Judy Spooner

Get sappy: Maple syrup hobby turns into small business for Cottage Grove man

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After he retired 30 years ago, Rod Hale wanted something to do in the spring.

It's not time to go hunting or fishing or to work on the lawn, he said. So he started tapping a few of the maple trees near the home he shared with the wife, Mary, on the Cottage Grove part of Lower Grey Cloud Island.

Hale started the hobby by heating the sap on a small camp stove until it became maple syrup.

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Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
(651) 459-7600
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