Ed and Pat Jillson, of Sabattus. Credit: YouTube | Maine Cooperative Extension

Ed and Pat Jillson have been married nearly six decades. They’ve also been farming for several decades — opening their first vegetable stand in 1966.

Combining their love for each other and for making their own living, they built Jillson’s Farm & Sugarhouse in Sabattus where they produce maple syrup and other maple products, grow and sell veggies and flowers, and host events.

But you really have to see them in action, and hear their reflections on life close to the land, to understand just how much grit and hard work goes into what they do.

“I think people glamorize what we do, and it is fun, and I do love it, but it’s a lot of hard work. You have to have it in your blood, or you wouldn’t last,” Pat Jillson says in the film.

The Maine Cooperative Extension created this video above, of last year’s Maine Maple Sunday, to bring consumers closer to farmers and producers, to better showcase what’s important to them and how they make decisions behind the scenes. The extension plans to release more videos as part of a series called “Growing Maine.” If you have ideas for who should be featured, you can learn more here.

Maine Maple Sunday this year will fall on March 27. To find events near you, click here. You can also receive updates by signing up here.

Erin Rhoda

Erin Rhoda

Erin Rhoda is editor of Maine Focus, a journalism and community engagement initiative by the Bangor Daily News.