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Life on the Farm

Gold Miners

Pine Barrens homesteader and LOTF columnist Lauren Vitagliano is a pioneer whose spirit extends deep into the winter. That’s when she and Rob Williams, the other half of the Pine Barrens Post, tap into local trees to harvest sap, then boil that “maple water” into the syrup that becomes much more than a topper for pancakes.

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Lauren Vitagliano lives in Sweetwater, where the terroir she admires and respects provides endless fodder for homesteading. She holds a master’s degree in aeronautical science, a field completely unrelated to homesteading, and works for the Federal Aviation Administration in airport safety research and development. When she was 25, a friend told her she was the grandmother she’d never had. Stay tuned for more tales from the Post at TPW and, in the meantime, visit


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