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Program offers easy money to sugarmakers

Peter Gregg | May 2017

Nothing beats free money.
An energy savings incentive program in Vermont largely paid for new flue pan preheaters for 18 oil-burning sugarmakers last year, with even more money slated for 2017.  Applications are now being accepted in Vermont for up to $7,500 in grants for preheaters.
“I’ve never done a grant program that was so easy,” said Mark Stewart, who along with sons Elliot and Tanner, taps 25,000 in the central Vermont hamlet of Cuttingsville.  “It was very easy.” MORE ]

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Season wrapping up for most, but far north hangs on

Peter Gregg | April 8, 2017

The last gasp of the season for most this weekend.
“The lower elevation trees are on the way out,” said Dale Aines, of 20,000-tap Mettowee Valley Maple in Pawlet, Vt. on Tuesday. MORE ]

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New VMSMA container timeline finalized

| March 31, 2017

Coming June 1st! New plastic containers from the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association featuring revised branding will be available on June 1 from Hillside Plastics Co.’s Sugarhill Containers.

“With the 2017 season underway, we’re excited to finally be able to announce a timeline for the roll-out of VMSMA’s new plastic and glass containers featuring the revised Vermont Maple Syrup branding,” the association said. MORE ]

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Shout-out to the Sugar Women

Kate Ziehm | March 27, 2017

The maple industry, like most of agriculture, sometimes has the perception to be a male dominated industry—or at least that is the way it appears. But we know about appearances … don’t we?

I want to give a shout-out to my “Sugar-Women.” MORE ]

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Season winding down in the middle latitudes

Peter Gregg | March 2017

It could be close to the end for sugarmakers in the middle latitudes of the Maple Belt.

“My last boil was Thursday,” Wayne Palmer, a sugarmaker in Hebron, Ct. told The Maple News on March 24. “The last two days we were getting that not so nice smell in the sugarhouse, when you stop getting that nice vanilla smell and it changes.” MORE ]

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Flatlander hitting heights

Peter Gregg | February 2017

They call him the hardest working flatlander in Vermont.

Eric Sorkin is a lawyer by training and hails from New Jersey, but he’s becoming one of the kingpins of the Vermont maple industry, with 81,000 taps on the back side of Mt. Mansfield and an innovative retail business that’s taking maple into a new culinary realm, far beyond the jugs and tin.

“We’re shouting from the rooftops that you can do a lot more with this stuff,” he said. “It’s so unique. It’s so special.” MORE ]

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Another reset coming this week, hopes to extend season

Peter Gregg | March 13, 2017

Another big reset is happening across the Maple Belt, freezing trees.

“We’ve had so many highs and lows in temperatures this season,” said Mark Spence of Spence’s Sugar Bush in Spring Valley, Wisc., where he and his three sons have made 13 barrels so far. MORE ]

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Research explores birch syrup production

Northern New York Agricultural Development Program | February 8, 2017

The farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has posted the results of a project exploring opportunities for regional maple sugarmakers to produce birch syrup. Four sugarhouses participated in the 2015-2016 birch syrup project; one each in Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Jefferson counties. MORE ]